Primary Chalkboard: Writing Workshop Tips

Writing Workshop Tips

Are you looking to begin or tweak Writing Workshop in your classroom?

Writing Workshop has been a important and delightful part of my classroom for over ten years. My students and I absolutely adore writing workshop! Yet - I'm still in a constant state of refinement.

Here are some tried and true tips for what has worked well over the years, regardless of the writing curriculum I was using...Let me know which tips you find most helpful!

Growing Firsties - writers workshop tips

Make sure to pin this post so you can come easily back to it when you want to add more layers to your workshop or have more questions.

Heads up - this is a MONSTER BIG post! Took me over two three months to write (#reallifefirst #thenbloglife) and there's SO much more I could say about each tip. #teachingiscomplex #whichiswhyiloveit #mostdays #somedaysijustwantjammies

Here we go...

Growing Firsties
(There are some affiliate links in this post.)

This one's a big deal that can have a big impact...
All writers need to feel successful. As a teacher who ditched the deficit model decades ago, I am eagerly on the hunt for positive, genuine ways to compliment each writer as often as I can. Not only is this kind and humane, it respects the writer's developmental stage and builds on his/her strengths. And they ALL have strengths.

In an effort to be strategic...
Compliment based on your teaching points...and do it in a loud-ish whisper...it's another opportunity to reinforce what you're teaching. And...it will benefit all who overhear it.

In order to feel more genuine, your compliments will often sound like "noticings."

If your mini-lessons are about including introductions, your compliments (noticings) might sound like...

"I notice you introduced your piece with a question!"

"You're trying out a sound effect in your introduction!"


If your mini-lessons have been about improving writing stamina, your compliments might sound like...

"Check out the way you're really sticking to it today! You're not letting anything distract you from your important writing work!"

"Wow! I noticed that you turned your body away from your friend so that you could stay on track with your work. Powerful decision!"


If your mini-lessons have been about editing, your compliments (noticings) might sound like...

"Look at you, going to town, editing your piece for punctuation!"

"I see you edited for using capital letters only for names and at the beginning of sentences!"


For 11 more tips, pop on over to this Growing Firsties post!

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