Two days of training with a very small group of interested and intelligent educators yielded excitement, quality ideas, and a vision formed what the future of the kids in our school will look like over the next few years.
Our school is piloting writer’s workshop through Teacher’s College Reading & Writing Project for the upcoming year. While many of the teaching points and expectations matched with my own ideas for teaching writing, I found that the consistency and the level at which kids write with the workshop model is very impressive.
There is still a lot for me to unpack, develop my own ideas with, and understand about what I learned in the last two days and how that will impact not only my writing classroom, but also my entire classroom. As I go through materials and my notes, I will certainly have more ideas, more questions, and lots to write about.
My initial thoughts are: I love that kids write what they want within a genre. Sure that is a “limitation” but I am ok with it. I love that kids get to pick up or put down a piece and come back to it another day. I love the individual time I will spend on writing skills during conferring, and the shortness of lessons to maximize the time writing. Finally, I LOVE that kids are encouraged to write where they are comfortable, and I am encouraged to confer with them in whatever that space may be.
I have concerns about motivating for risk taking. My original idea was to gamify the writing process so as to provide students with encouragement to take those risks. While eventually you could develop the culture of taking risks in writing, I want students to be inspired to take those risks and jump into them. I want the kid who we ALL know, that says “I don’t know what to write” to be the one asking to write more, or to be excited about a craft move he did. I want to take that game addict, and turn them into a writing addict. I have reached out for anyone who maybe has tried this, and I have heard only crickets!
Ultimately I am extremely excited and motivated to get started with this new set of materials centered around students become writers.