You will hear your child talk about Writer’s Workshop and may wonder what, exactly, they are doing during this time. Writer’s Workshop begins with a short mini-lesson in which I will teach or reinforce a writing skill, followed by independent writing, and concluding with a share time. I will be working with students independently and in small groups during independent writing to identify what they are doing well and to give them a little boost to improve something they are almost doing in their writing.
Your children will be learning to be writers – not just learning letters and understanding that letters represent the sounds of our language, but learning to be authors. Here is what
they will be doing and how you can help them:
Units of Study
Small Moments: Personal Narrative
Non-Fiction Chapter Books: Informational Writing
Writing Reviews: Opinion Writing
Scenes to Series: Fictional Narrative
What will they do?
- They will be selecting topics. You can help by asking them each morning: What will you write about today? or Tell me a story that happened to you.
- They will write about topics they are “experts” on and expressing their opinions.
- They will be labeling their drawings and creating messages.
- They will be trying out new writing skills. You can help by asking: What are you working on as a writer?
- They will be sharing their writing and asking their peers questions like: Does this make sense? Is this interesting?
- They will be revising by adding details. Ask your child to describe, or tell more, about the things they see, hear, do, etc. Verbally expressing details is the first step to writing them. Encourage details in drawing. Ask if they can tell more in their writing.
- They will be editing their own work all by themselves for spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. Allow invented spelling and encourage your child to say and write each sound they hear. We will develop a bank of Word Wall words throughout the year and learn about spelling patterns, spelling rules, and grammar, but the English language is complicated! Most words written by first graders will be written phonetically and their spelling and grammar skills will grow over time.
- They will be publishing some of their work. At the end of each unit of study, your child will publish one of their stories. Most of their writing work will stay at school until the end of the unit.
When you see their work, you can help by talking to them about the content— what the writing is about. Here are some comments and questions that help a young author:
- I like this…. (picture, letter, label, word)
- Did you tell all about the picture?
- Can you tell me more about…?
- What else do you know about this?
- What will your next piece be about?
You, their audience and readers, will need to bear with them as they learn their craft. Receive their writing in the same spirit of encouragement that you do their music, art, and sports performances. That will help them become the best they can be.
If you have any questions about my writing program, please do not hesitate to ask!