Friday, 27 February 2009

Exploring Writer's Workshop with Teachers

I have started doing a series of Wednesday afternoon sessions for teachers at my school on Writer's Workshop. The first session was this week. I love doing these workshops for teachers because it helps me articulate my philosophy and practice. They help me think through the what and why of my practice. They keep me honest.

During the first session we talked about the writing process or "the process of writing" as worded by Wendy Bean and Jan Turbill in their book, Writing Instruction, K - 6, Understanding Process, Purpose, Audience. We talked about how the writing process and the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing work together, since the latter is of special interest in my school at the moment. I explained the components of Writer's Workshop and we did a little bit of writing. It was probably too much for a one hour session; we could have spent more time on any one part of the agenda.

At the end of the afternoon I asked for feedback regarding what teachers wanted to know more about. I received good responses that I am planning to weave into each of the next sessions. I will also be offering twice monthly brown bag lunches to further discuss the fine points, problems, etc of Writer's Workshop.

If you have done sessions like this before at your school, or have attended any yourself, please post suggestions for what you think are some ideas worth exploring with teachers new to the concept of workshop teaching. I'd love to read your thoughts! Thank you!
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