Each spring I pester poor Cathy and Michelle way before they are ready to think about another summer of #cyberpd because I want to make sure I get the book involved and my summer plans are always a little frenetic. They are ever patient with me and I am always excited when the choice is FINALLY revealed on June 1:)
This year’s choice of Welcome to Writing Workshop by Stacey Shubitz and Lynne R. Dorfman is another great pick. It is another example of just in time teaching for me, as I am about to start my second year at a school where a workshop model is not (yet) the norm, but I am hopeful it will be soon. In addition to reinforcing and extending my thinking, it gives me great talking points, references, videos to share, and many other resources as well.
Reflections on Chapters 1-4- my favorite parts
Chapter 1- What Is Writing Workshop?
I like that the authors reinforce that we need to be teachers of writers who write. This is something I finally came to about five years ago and it has made all the difference for me. I appreciate:
- The definitions of terminology- some of these terms are not so easy to define on the spot.
- I love the idea of next steps in conferences being an offering of a “polish”
- The writing processes are detailed here with a reminder that it is not linear.
- A chart to compare traditional and workshop- great for teachers making a shift to see!
Chapter 2- The “Write” Environment
- Last year (maybe for the first time?!) we created a discussion guidelines chart as a class and it was so helpful- the chart on page 28 had good reminders
- I loved the pictures of the classrooms!
Chapter 3- A Community of Writers
- My favorite part in this chapter was the ideas for share sessions and it reminded me to look back to Jennifer Serravallo’s Writing Strategies book because I remember it had lots of ideas too- I need to do a better job of celebrations!
- I love engagement inventories.
Chapter 4- Classroom Management
- The chart on page 64 with ideas about what students can do during writing workshop is one I need to create with my students because I so often have students asking, “Can I…?” My answer is always “It is your writing time, so your choice.” The chart will help students be more independent with their decision making.
- I liked the reminder to have groups come up with agreements for group work- I do this during book clubs, why haven’t I for group writing work?
Now I look forward to reading the rest of the book (and figuring out how I can share/push these ideas with colleagues who are at various stages of interest in workshop- would love your ideas with that!).