Manhattan Beach Unified School District

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The Foundations of a Writing Workshop

“The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have set the bar to a height that no one teacher, no single year of teaching can attain.  Young writers grow over the years, making it imperative that schools provide an aligned, coherent system to support their progress.

Many of the Writing Project’s ideas have been, from the start, part of the Common Core. Therefore, Units of Study in Opinion Information, and Narrative Writing: a Common Core Workshop Curriculum supports development of a school wide, coherent approach to teaching writing.”                 


- Lucy Calkins, A Guide to the Writing Workshop        


v  Writing Workshop teaches children writing strategies that may be applied to all forms of writing.  The focus is “teaching the writer, not the writing.”


v  Student authors write for an audience of readers, not just for the teacher.


v  Children invest themselves more in their writing if they are allowed and taught to select their own topics and write about subjects that are important to them.


v  Writing instruction is dramatically more powerful if teachers demonstrate a commitment to writing and are responsive to what students do and try to do as writers.


v  Writers do not write with words and conventions alone; writers write above all with meaning.


v  Children need opportunities and instruction to cycle through the writing process regularly—write, rehearse, draft, revise, edit, and publish.


v  Writers read.  Writers read all sorts of texts aiming to learn specific strategies for writing well.