"Authors in Action"
An Overview of our
Writing Workshop in 2nd Grade
In our second grade
classroom, students participate in a daily writing workshop, following our
reading workshop. This writing time is in addition to Daily 5 writing time.
During Daily 5 writing time, students can choose to continue working on a
piece of writing from Writing Workshop which is generally more structured
writing time. Daily 5 writing time is generally an extension of Writing
At the start of the
workshop, the teacher models writing on a large chart or on the ELMO in a mini-lesson
that targets a specific writing skill or concept. The mini-lesson usually
lasts 10-15 minutes long. The mini-lesson is then followed by independent
writing time by the students. At this time, the teacher may choose
to meet with a small guided writing group or holds writing
conferences with individual students. Independent writing time
usually lasts approximately 20 minutes. Afterwards, students participate in a
whole group sharing session.
Students usually share with a partner because of time; however, sometimes,
Mrs. Vensko asks a few students to share. During share time, a few students
share a piece of writing in the author's
chair while all others listen OR all students share their writing
with a partner. Students have been taught to carefully listen to each young
author and to give appropriate feedback. Two
stars (two things we liked about the writing) and one
wish (one way to improve either by asking a question or giving a
suggestion) are always given to a young author who shares his or her writing.
Daily Schedule for Writer's Workshop
(11:00 - 11:45)
(routine & procedures, writing
process, 6 traits, grammar, craft, mentor text, etc.)
for grammar (Treasures)
10 minutes for writing lesson
Writing Time/Teacher Conferences
independently in writer's notebooks while teacher assists a small group of
students or conducts one-on-one student conferences)
"Brain Music" (classical tunes such as Baby
Einstein) plays at this time to help students remain quiet and focused on
Chair/Sharing Time (students
share published work or work in progress; 2 stars, 1 wish)
5 minutes or less
All young authors need
special writing tools to
create their wonderful masterpieces! Each student in our second grade
classroom has been given a special writer's
notebook to use during writer's workshop. The writer's notebook
consists of a 1/2 inch 3-ring binder. Inside each binder is a clear plastic
pouch which holds our writing tools needed for each stage of the writing
process - a blue pen for drafting
, a red pen for
revising , and a green
pen for editing.
In addition to the pen pouch, the writer's notebook also contains other
resources to assist students when writing stories such as a topics list to
generate writing ideas, a thesaurus, a writing dictionary, and colored pocket
folders for each stage of the writing process.
Pictures of our
I recently have changed to composition
notebooks instead of using the red binders pictured below. It was difficult
for my second graders to manage the binders and I noticed that the paper would
constantly fall out. The composition notebooks work so much better for us!
I use Bare Books during writing workshop
to publish student writing. A Bare Book is a blank book with a hard-covered
front and back. My students decorate the front and back of their Bare Book to
make a collage of their choice. You can learn more about Bare Books by
visiting this website: www.barebooks.com.
Here are some pictures of the Bare Books
that my students created during the 2008-2009 school year. Enjoy the
Here are some resources to help you get a
writer's workshop started in your own classroom. I have created many of these
files myself; however, others I have collected over the years through
searching the web. If I have not given proper credit for a file, please let me
know as soon as possible and I will make the necessary changes. Thank you!
Writer's Workshop Resource
(Opens as a Word Document)
is a writing topics list that I created to help my students brainstorm
different topics that are important to their lives!
to write about
This is a document I created to record
my writing conference notes. There is a box for each student to ensure that I
meet with everyone during the week, along with a space to record a compliment
and teaching point.
Here is a
list of books to use to help spark student writing. I read these books aloud
during interactive read aloud time.
(Opens as a pdf file)
you are a beginner at writer's workshop, this file is for you! These notes
came from the book, Primary Writer's Workshop (not sure of the author). I took
these notes immediately after reading the book.
is a list of second grade high frequency words. I call these words 'popcorn
words' because they POP up in our reading and writing all the time. I place a
copy of these words in each writer's notebook to assist with spelling.
Grade High Frequency Word List
Here is a list of the steps in my
writer's workshop. Students keep this in their
writer's notebook as a reference.
Here is another form to document your
Have you ever wondered how
to get grades when using a workshop approach? Here is a scoring rubric to use
to grade your students' published works.
Here is a long list of ideas for writing
mini-lessons that I have compiled together over the years. I have included
literature connections and teacher resource books that I use.
for writing mini- lessons
I will continue to add to this list,
so check back soon to see what's new!
I created the following materials from
Vista Print for use during our Writing Workshop. The first item is a large
magnet that is attached to our writing process board. During "Status of the
Class", students state the step of the writing process in which they are
working on and then I place their picture next to that step.
This is a bookmark that I created to
teach and remind my students of the steps of the writing process that we use
during Writing Workshop. They keep these bookmarks in their writer's
notebooks. The back of the bookmark reminds them what to do when they peer
A special thank you to Mrs. Hicks for
sharing her wonderful idea of the writer's notebook. Check out her fabulous
Hicks' 2nd Grade Classroom