Designed to supplement the ELA curriculum or be used on their own, Writing Workshops help students hone a skill essential to college and career readiness.
Why It Helps
Learning to express themselves in modes ranging from argumentative text to poetry, students develop the ability to write fluently in different genres while also learning to use research, evaluate evidence, and support arguments—skills essential to college and career readiness.
How It Works
Each workshop guides students to write three separate texts: one that is constructed as a class with direct guidance from the teacher, one that is peer constructed with teacher support, and one that is written independently.
The writing workshops follow an instructional sequence designed to gradually build students' independent writing skills. Each workshop is organized to provide a gradual release of instruction, moving students from a class writing exercise to independent writing.
Students begin with shared reading of a model text. Then they analyze writing techniques and grammar, before moving on to drafting, writing, and revising in groups. Finally, they do independent work that draws on techniques learned in the previous steps.
Each grade level has 10 workshops. Each of those focuses on a particular type of writing, such as expository, narrative, or argumentative. The workshop then gives students targeted strategies, grammar, and practice exercises to help them master that genre.
Benefits for Students
Through writing experiences in these writing workshops, student will be prepared to write in any tested genre and will gain the following:
- Reading-writing connections that result in transferable literacy skills
- Ability to produce writing in a variety of modes
- Experience in using research to inform writing and to support credible argument
- Skills in collaborating and communicating with other writers
- Language development in writing and speech, as well as embedded grammar instruction that focuses on structure and effect in writing
How Writing Workshops Address Unfinished Learning
- Provide targeted, focused instruction that uses gradual release, allowing teachers to model first and then monitor closely as students gain independence
- Give focused and specific instruction and strategies that can be applied later in other instruction
- Are powerful for supporting students who haven’t received much writing instruction, given the loss of face-to-face time, constraints of digital teaching, and loss of overall instructional time.
- Are powerful as preparation and remediation before asking students to complete an independent performance-based assessment (precursor to a writing assessment)
- Can be used with small groups or whole class.
- Can be used as response to intervention based on student performance with writing and reading skills
- A single workshop can be completed in 4–8 days, giving powerful focus without derailing instruction.
- Consist of 9 modes plus a workshop focused on the writing process
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Do I need special training to conduct Writing Workshops?
No. The Teacher Edition of each unit is rich with resources including background information, suggested activities, and embedded assessments. However, if you decide to pursue specialized professional development, SpringBoard offers options ranging from online learning to in-person workshops.