In Writer's Workshop for the Common Core, Warren Combs aligns the development of a writer's workshop with the Common Core State Standards for writing. This tip outlines six key practices to help teachers increase their students' range of writing, by guiding their time, topics, and expectations.
The Common Core State Standards for Writing (Range of Writing—10) calls upon students in grades 3 through 12 to "write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a wide range of tasks, purposes, and audiences." The writer's workshop can easily be used to reach this standard when implemented with these six simple strategies.
- Invite your students to write with you, using yourself as a model. Fee yourself from hovering over and "helping" students as they write. Most of that monitoring distracts them from writing. For sure, stop writing for an instant conference if a student shows signs of being overwhelmed. As you model intense engagement in your own writing, an increasing number of students will follow in your wake.
- Choose writing topics within the bounds of the math, reading, science or social studies curriculum.
- Quantify expectations of all writing tasks and present students with a simple rubric for self-assessment.
- Keep all writing tasks within appropriate time limits.
- Schedule students to experience the writing process together one step at a time; have word- and sentence-study centers available for students who finish tasks early.
- Make sure that students write on similar topics, genres, and modes to take full advantage of their ability to help each other when their writing is complete.
Do you use Writer's Workshop in your classroom? How do you use it to align your lesson plans with the Common Core? Let us know in the comments section below!