So, I'm sure you can picture it...it's one of those days when something has disrupted the regular schedule in your classroom. Maybe an assembly? Perhaps a guest speaker? You have to give something up, but which valuable part of your day do you sacrifice?
In our classroom, if Writer's Workshop is our selected sacrifice, there is a major uproar from our students! Why? Because our students love Writer's Workshop!
Well, if you're asking the question, Why in the world do your students love Writer's Workshop so much?, let me give you some reasons...
- They enjoy the outlet for their creativity as they develop their own story ideas
- They like having the opportunity to write individual or partner stories
- Publishing their writing on the computer is one of their favorite things to do
- For our artists, they love illustrating their stories
- Their published pieces of writing are often something the students are very proud of and love sharing
So, if the students enjoy it that much, they can't be learning, right? Wrong! It's the engagement piece that typically results in improved writing skills!
There are many benefits to having a Writer's Workshop time in your classroom. Some of those benefits are...
- Clearly, all the reasons above as to why students are engaged and love Writer's Workshop are certainly benefits
- Students are able to grow at their independent writing level
- Teachers are able to provide mini-lessons, as well as have individual/small group conferences around specific skills
- Teachers can model their own personal writing as a means to teach writing skills
- Skills are learned and practiced in authentic writing situations, versus on isolated worksheets, spelling tests, prompts, etc.
- Students (and teachers) can better see writing growth over the course of the year (comparing writing pieces)
- Students have the opportunity to engage in writing just as authors in the real-world do
As a teacher, I am at my happiest at school when I witness my students engaged and happy while they're learning! By creating a Writer's Workshop time in your classroom, you are very likely creating one of those learning opportunities that students love!