What is Writing Workshop? An Overview

An Overview of Writing Workshop I could write 1,000 pages on this topic. In fact, every time I started composing this post in my mind, I felt overwhelmed. So let’s eat this big, rich pie in baby bites, shall we?

What is Writing Workshop?

The simplest answer is that it is a structure for teaching writing. However, that answer doesn’t quite do the job because Writing Workshop (WW) springs from a philosophical point of view called constructivism. It’s based on a belief that children are capable people who learn best when given the opportunity to construct their own understanding (“learn while doing.”) Therefore, teachers in a WW see their students (even those who are quite young) as competent writers with interesting ideas and stories to tell. They also believe that with intentional instruction and support, those children are perfectly capable of learning how to write meaningful and interesting pieces just like “real” writers.

What is the teacher’s role in Writing Workshop? [Read more…]

Classroom Management through Community Building

Classroom Management through Community Building

I will never forget my first year of teaching. (Does anyone?) It was such an exhilarating and humbling year! I was living the dream I had held since childhood but also came to the painful realization that I still had a great deal to learn about being an effective teacher.
When I completed that first year, I felt I had been successful overall, but I also knew that I wanted to make some changes in my management system. My experiences with Kevin had made a big impact on me, but it was more than that. I wanted my classroom to feel different- less like I was the “enforcer” and more like I was the “encourager.” [Read more…]

Make Learning Stations More Kinesthetic

Ideas for making learning centers more kinesthetic

I was so inspired by my recent interview with Stacey Shoecraft! (Read more here: 1st Interview and 2nd Interview.)

Her movement-based classroom is an energetic and happy place! Seeing all the different ways she uses movement to reach and teach her students made me think a little more deeply about ideas for pumping up our practice with movement.

Today, let’s think about ways to make our stations (AKA “centers”) more active. [Read more…]

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