How can all of the Grade 3-5 (or grade K-2) teachers be teaching from the same units?
This question surfaced frequently in my building. The answer is that the lessons are all multi-level. By this I mean that they are open-ended enough to allow teachers to delve into the mini-lesson more in-depth or less, depending on grade level. Also, the topics that are used to model the mini-lessons will be different for each teacher as they draw from their own classroom’s or own personal experiences to generate writing. The mini-lessons are always based on excellent skills or strategies that will be taught at one level and then taught again or reviewed at succeeding levels.

How often does Writer’s Workshop need to be scheduled?
You should schedule Writer’s Workshop every day, five days a week to have maximum impact. You can cut it down to four days if necessary, but less than that is not recommended.

Will my children like Writer’s Workshop?
You will find that your children will love the writer’s workshop framework. They will also love writing now that they are able to choose their own topics and write about things they really care about.

Are mechanics taught in the Units of Study?
Yes! Many mini-lessons are devoted to mechanics or grammar. Children are taught capitalization, punctuation and all the other mechanics rules periodically throughout the mini-lessons. Because they are writing authentically, they are much more motivated to apply what they’ve learned.

I question devoting so much time to Writer’s Workshop. Are my children losing out in other areas like reading?
Writing and reading have a reciprocity with each other. This means that when children write, they are practicing and applying their reading strategies and vice versa. Think about it. As children write, they are continually re-reading their writing. They are also reading as they proofread, read other children’s drafts, scan their notebooks for seed ideas to draft, etc. The time put into writing will pay off across the curriculum by scaffolding your students’ skills.


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