Writers at Work

By discoverylab | September 27, 2016 | Uncategorized

This year in Discovery Lab we have introduced a new writing curriculum by Lucy Calkins.  It uses a daily Writers Workshop to implicitly teach the building blocks of writing through demonstration, mini-lessons, working in pairs, practicing together, writing independently and sharing our stories with our classmates.

To give you an idea of what that might look like, here’s a peek into todays work.  First, we gathered on the carpet and I demonstrated writing a story we were all familiar with about picking apples on our walk the other day.  Today’s lesson was teaching how to stretch out the sounds and write the best we can and move on.  It’s more important at his point that our authors get their words (the words they really want to use and are sometimes hard to spell) down on the paper even if the spelling isn’t right.

Next, I handed out clipboards and everyone practiced writing the next part of the story that I had started.  We always start with the picture, then label, then write the story.

Students wrote the next page of our story, using the technique of stretching out the words and writing the best we can.
Students wrote the next page of our story, using the technique of stretching out the words and writing the best we can.

Next, students head to their table groups and start to work on their own stories.  I confer with students and help them to work as independently as possible.  I try to confer with most of the students and see how I can encourage them to add to the details in words or pictures and have them read to me what they have written.

Students have writing partners and table groups. Writing partners have similiar reading abilities and each table has beginning writers and more experienced writers.
Students have writing partners and table groups. Writing partners have similiar reading abilities and each table has beginning writers and more experienced writers.

 

I met with Louie and she read me this story, checking to see that it made sense and what details could be added.
I met with Louie and she read me this story, checking to see that it made sense and what details could be added.

 

After about thirty minutes of writing, some authors chose to share what they have written, reading aloud to the group.

 

Van reading the group his latest writing about his truck.
Van reading his latest writing about his truck to the class.

 

At the end of writing, students put their work in their folders.  Certain peices will be revised and added to and others are put into the all finished side of the folder.