#cyberpd- Week 1 2019

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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!).




4 thoughts on “#cyberpd- Week 1 2019

  1. Lisa Corbett

    Thanks for sharing your ideas, Erika! I loved the classroom pictures as well. I have moved to a new room for next year, so this is of particular interest to me. I, too, am at a school where Writer’s Workhop is not the norm. I think a few people have started to experiment with it, but I have been doing it for 12 years! LOL I did not do a discussion guidelines chart this year, and am just now thinking about that. I feel like we did an “active listening” chart and then spent a lot of time work on those oral language skills. Maybe a discussion guideline chart would help us be better active listeners. Something to think about!

  2. Michelle @litlearningzone

    First of all, we LOVE your enthusiasm and excitement for #cyberPD!! Your gentle reminders always come at the right time and motivate us to get ready for another summer of learning!!

    I love that you are reading this with a mindset of helping your colleagues give workshop a try! I think this book will give you just the right words! I was not at all surprised that by page 3 they were reminding us that we need to write too!

    I’m thinking how you can share this with colleagues and I truly believe the students’ writing will be the evidence (the volume of writing and the improvement in the quality of writing) that you need. Their writing will lead lead to: How did you do that?!? And then you can share more …

    Thanks for joining in again, Erika!

  3. Cathy

    Like Michelle, I always look forward to hearing you ask about the #cyberPD selection in spring. It usually moves us toward sharing stacks which is always exciting – and dangerous for the pocket.

    Like you, I appreciated thinking about celebrations. Ruth Ayres’s Book, Celebrations, really pushes me to think more about writing celebrations so I appreciate the gentle reminding nudge of their importance.

    I did smile over your “yet” when talking about workshop in your school. I know when I changed to a workshop it was the shift in student engagement that first pushed me dig deeper in this work. Then it was the change in their writing – and their talk around writing.

    Looking forward to learning alongside you again this year!


  4. Tammy Mulligan

    I agree – the chart on page 64 is so helpful. Students need to know that they have options. When they don’t know what to do next, I want them to have a tool to plan their next steps.


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