This week I have been reading “About the Author: Writing Workshop with our Youngest Writers” by Katie wood Ray and Lisa B. Cleveland. Writers Workshop is something I used in my student teaching and really enjoyed using. I did not learn about it in my college classes I learned about it as I was going by following the book while student teaching. We do not use Writers Workshop here in Alleghany County as a rule, but I really like the setup of Writers Workshop and want to use it in my class.
Chapter 1 focuses on The Writers Workshop and specifically on a first grade classroom that is getting ready to be tested on their writing. I want the ideas I’m letting students make their own book and this chapter tells us that making stuff is developmentally appropriate. It elaborates on the fact that children love to make books, projects, and other things and that these this process of writing is teaching them. Things such as making books teaches students about title-pages, genres , pictures in books, narratives, illustrations how bold font is used, how texting me manipulated and much more. This chapter also teaches us that letting children like books teaches them how to read like writers and live like writers. When students make their own writing piece they learn to appreciate books more that they read as well in my opinion.
Chapter 2 focuses on what you need in order to be able to set up Writers Workshop successfully in your classroom. In talks about how children need as much experience as possible when writing and that they need support also. This book talks about setting up your classroom and offering space is for your students to work in. We do something called daily 5 in our classroom. There is a Writing Center as part of the students selections. In this Center students have the freedom to make books, write letters to friends, make a card for their mom dad or teacher, free write in there notebook, anything their little Minds can imagine. As long as they are writing I let them have the freedom to choose what they would like to do. We also have a 30 minute block of riding each morning where students are taught in whole great with a mini lesson then work independently on a writing piece. Setting up the classroom to be inviting for Young is the easy part. Finding the time to work this into your day is where I think each teacher struggles. I am excited to continue reading this book as well as my other book my receive as part of this class.