Every week we do Writer's Workshop, and for us it's a two day process where on the first day I would model my thinking first, and then I would actually have a conversation with the children about my story to teach them that it's important to talk about your writing before you put it to paper. Then I would model how to draw the picture and I would stop at that point.
Before the children go off to their writing stations with their writing caddies I would give them an opportunity to share their story with a writing partner so they have that oral rehearsal. And this helps them when they get to their writing part, then they would have a chance to go off and just draw their picture.
On day two we would come back and celebrate some of the drawings and the things that the writers have shown in their pictures, and I would then model from the piece of writing I had started the day before that just had my picture on it, and I would model my thinking aloud and my own stretching out of the words I wanted to add.
Then the children would have a chance to, again, work with their partner, just talk about what they're going to put into their picture, in their writing and then they would go off to their writing stations. I like the two day format because it shows children that writing is a process and it's not necessarily finished in one particular chunk of time.
We use this anchor chart to remind ourselves what good writers do. I like these four simple points that first we think, second we talk about it, third we draw, and fourth we write. And when we're writing it's important for the children to remember that we stretch our words out slowly, we make our pictures big and bright, and also think about what you can add to make the reader understand that story a little bit better. Each child has their own writing folder that houses all their wonderful pieces, and on the back of their folder we have a list of all the friends in their classroom because often they like to incorporate their friends into their writing. So there are all the names.
The goal of Writer's Workshop: Modeling and Guiding the Writing Process in Kindergarten (Virtual Tour) is to encourage students to write for an authentic purpose and model and teach structures and genres to support those purposes.
- Model how good writers think and discuss ideas about the writing process before beginning to write.
- Have students orally rehearse with a partner before beginning to write.
- Refer to an anchor chart and remind students what good writers do.