This book is a practical, comprehensive, and illuminating guide for both new and experienced teachers that confronts the challenges of the writing workshop head-on.


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In The Writing Workshop, Katie Wood Ray offers a practical, comprehensive, and illuminating guide to support both new and experienced teachers. While every aspect of writing workshop is geared to support children learning to write, this kind of teaching is often challenging because what writers really do is engage in a complex, multi-layered, slippery process to produce texts. The book confronts the challenge of this teaching head-on, with chapters on all aspects of the writing workshop, including:

  • day-to-day instruction (e.g., lesson planning, conferring, assessment and evaluation, share time, focus lessons, and independent writing)
  • classroom management (e.g., pacing and scheduling, managing the predictable distractions, and understanding the slightly out-of-hand feeling of the workshop)
  • intangibles (e.g., the development of writing identities and the tone of workshop teaching)

The Writing Workshop is a book about being articulate—being able to think through what we are doing as we are doing it so that we can improve our practice. It's a book to go back to when things are getting hard. A book that helps us think through, "Now why was I doing this?" Woven between the chapters on teaching are the voices of published writers, followed by short commentaries from Lester L. Laminack. These voices remind us how writers do what they do, thus lending authenticity to what Katie Wood Ray shows us in the classroom, and thoughtfully helping us frame our instruction to match the complex process of writing.

278 pp. 2001. Grades 3–8. ISBN 10: 0-8141-1317-6; ISBN 13: 978-0-8141-1317-2.

No. 13176