Writer's Workshop

What does my Writing Workshop Look Like?

The program that my school utilized was the Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi Writer's Workshop.  Using this as a resource guide, I constructed my Writing Workshop.  In addition, I also utilized some strategies from scholastic.com and incorporated some of my own ideas.

Writing Workshop: 60 minutes

Supplies:  Writer’s Notebook, pencils, quite and relaxed environment, books for various lesson, chart paper, and markersis


Daily Oral Language is part of writer's workshop everday for about 10-15 minutes.  Two sentences are written incorrectly.  The student's task is to identify the errors and grammatically correct each of the sentences.  This helps students learn skills in parts of speech and grammmar.

Mini- lesson

All students are expected to be at the carpet with their Writer's Notebook and a pencil. The mini-lesson is usually 10-15 minutes long.  I model a new technique for students to explore in their own writing or reinforce a strategy that I see my students are struggling with.  I may do a read aloud so students can see examples from real authors.  We may do a shared writing piece using the technique I taught.  Below I have a picture of a bulletin board with the various author's crafts I have taught.  Each time I teach a lesson I hang a poster on the wall to give students something to refer to as they are writing and reading.

Mini lessons I have taught include:

Adding character description

What makes a good beginning?                

What makes a good ending?

Word choice/ Wow words

Strong Emotion


Dialogue/Replacing overused words such as “said”

Working with a seed idea


Figurative Language:








Independent Writing

After my mini-lesson, I allow students to write in their Writer’s Notebook, a spiral notebook that is personalized at the beginning of the year.  This portion of the workshop is 30-35 minutes.  Depending on what we are working on students either write a new piece or use an existing drafted piece to add to. These pieces will eventually become published pieces. However, not every piece written in their notebooks becomes a published piece. I believe students need to write to just write sometimes to give them a sense of satisfaction that writing can be fun too.  All published writing is displayed on the Author’s Showcase and some are made into class books.  Students also are given time to share and receive feedback from other students in the classroom.  In addition, this time is used for revising/editing their final publication before they are due.



While students are independently writing, I confer with students and keep a document of it.

As I confer with students I go through a checklist:

Students read their selection out loud.

What are you working on as a writer?

How are you doing this in your writing?

Teacher gives feedback and/or re-teaches a concept.

What are ways you can improve?

Give a positive feedback by reinforcing the students’ strength.

What will you work on when you go back to your seat?


During this time students can share either a part or the whole story or they can reflect.  I usually allow 5-10 minutes.  Sometimes students will share in small groups or whole group depending on where we are in ths writing process.  When pieces are published I do an Author’s chair where students can share their official pieces.  I do this so that student feel a real sense of accomplishment.