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Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide 1st Edition
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About the Author
Ralph Fletcher has been a mentor to teachers and young writers everywhere. Ralph's latest Heinemann books continue this tradition. His newest book, Joy Write, shares the whys and the how of giving students time and autonomy for the playful, low-stakes writing that leads to surprising, high-level growth. What a Writer Needs, Second Edition mentors teachers and writers in the elements and craft of writing. Mentor Author, Mentor Texts brings inspiration to teachers and students by sharing Ralph's own writing across numerous genres plus writer's notes that reveal his thinking. Ralph frequently works with young writers in schools, and speaks at education conferences in the U.S. and abroad, helping teachers find wiser ways of teaching writing. Ralph is the beloved author of many bestselling teacher professional books including Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide; Craft Lessons; and Breathing In, Breathing Out as well as the author of firsthand classroom materials such as Teaching the Qualities of Writing and Lessons for the Writer's Notebook. Students know Ralph as the award-winning author of more than 20 books for children and young adults, including Fig Pudding, Twilight Comes Twice, The Writer's Notebook, and Marshfield Dreams: When I Was a Kid. Ralph Fletcher online » Listen to a recent Heinemann podcast where Ralph talks about Joy Write (17:31). » Read Ralph's latest thoughts at his blog: Living the Writing Life. » Listen to an interview with Ralph on Education Talk Radio (38:29). » Learn more about Ralph at his website RalphFletcher.com and follow him on Twitter @FletcherRalph. JoAnn Portalupi has helped teachers all over the U.S. find wiser ways of teaching writing. This is Ralph and JoAnn's third collaboration as a follow-up to Craft Lessons and Nonfiction Craft Lessons, which they coauthored for Stenhouse.
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The idea of implementing writing workshop into your own classroom can often seem daunting, however Writing Workshop provides clear examples and answers to many teachers’ questions and concerns about this teaching method. Fletcher and Portalupi address the importance of time to write (3 days a week minimum), in addition to the question that almost all teachers ask now-a-days: “How can I assess my students during writing workshop?” Writing Workshop provides specific assessment strategies, in addition to instructions and suggestions for conferring with students about their progress in the writing process.
Writing Workshop also addresses the foundational classroom principles necessary in order to launch a writing workshop. Fletcher and Portalupi make it very clear that reading and writing must go together, and that specifically, using mentor texts is vital for the success of a writing workshop. They also address the principle of acceptance: all students must feel accepted and safe in their classroom environment.
While this text is very useful for k-8 teachers, it would not be as helpful for high school teachers, as many of the examples are focused toward elementary and middle school age students. For teachers who use a very rigid curriculum, the implementation of the writing workshop outlined in this book may seem unrealistic. However, I do believe it is still worth reading, as some of the ideas posed in Writing Workshop could be implemented within or as a substitute for some of the rigid curriculum.
This book, like many educational books, seemed only to offer common sense advice rather than something new. You can read the entire book in one sitting because it's written in such simple language.
Great ideas for elementary or middle school, but don't buy it if you teach above 8th grade!
Ralph does justice to a busy teacher looking for the core beliefs and structures to launch and sustain the WW. I read this book in two days and was ready to start my own WW the third day. He even provides the first day lesson, second day lesson, first week lessons, a WW's scope and sequence, tips on conference, assessment, and connection with reader's workshop.
This book along with Atwell's reading manifesto, "Reading Zone", are the two texts that structures my reading and writing workshop. I thank them for their clarity and emphasis on less if more.