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{Welcome to Writing Workshop} #cyberPD Reflection Week 1

I'm reading and reflecting on Welcome to Writing Workshop with a different lens than most teachers. As a reading specialist, I am not fully implementing writing workshop. However, I can support teachers with implementation, brainstorm ideas through the challenges, and support reading and writing in my role knowing the full experience of the workshop model.

My Thoughts and Reflections for Week 1: Chapter 1-4

"It's our belief that every student can write -- 
even the ones who have stopped believing in themselves as writers." 
(Shubitz & Dorfmann, p.1)


  • I work with students who have not yet developed the belief that they are readers and writers. So to hear from the authors they too belief ALL students are writers reminds me of the power of YET.
  • I need to remember this definition when talking about workshop: "The structure of writing workshop is simple: it is student centered and based on the belief that students become successful writers when they write frequently, for extended periods of time, and on topics of their choice." (p.2) Yes. It's really this simple. This should be our focus. 
  • I smiled when reading on page 3 (already!), Stacey and Lynne are explicitly telling us that we need to write too ... for so many reasons!
  • The emphasis on the third teacher -- our environment and learning space -- is critical to student success (p.5) And there is an entire chapter dedicated to the "write" environment with photographs! (Chapter 2)
  • This: "A great mentor text does more than show us qualities of good writing. It provokes something in us -- memory, passion, a desire to write, to take our turn." Tom Newkirk (p.11)
  • The chart on p.18 is a clear indicator as to where a teacher of writing workshop is: Traditional vs Workshop.
  • The launch at the beginning of the year is essential. Six weeks of building a community, setting expectations, learning routines. Model, model, model. Practice, practice, practice. 


  • The focus in writing workshop is entirely on the writer ... not to improve the piece of writing they are working on today. (p.6)
  • Yes, we want students to write. And write a lot. But that's not our goal. The goal is to help our students know themselves as writers. (p.8 and 26)
  • So much time is focused on the writing process as being linear ... and it really isn't! The writing process is different for every writer. (p.13)

Question for you ...

  • The power of sharing is crucial ... but time seems to slip away and this critical component of writing workshop is skipped. How can we be sure this sharing time occurs? (p.16)

"Children want to write. 
They want to write the first day they attend school. 
This is no accident. Before they went to school they marked up 
walls, pavements, newspapers with crayons, chalk, pens, or pencils 
... anything that made a mark. The child's marks say, 'I am.'" 
(D. Graves, quoted by Shubitz & Dorfmann, p.42)


Visit our NEW #cyberPD MeWe Community to join in the conversations!

If you have any questions, please contact:
Cathy Mere on her blog or on Twitter (@CathyMere )
Michelle Nero by leaving a comment below or on Twitter (@litlearningzone)

Stay connected via Twitter (#cyberPD), our #cyberPD MeWe Community page, and
a compilation of resources on our #cyberPD 2019 :: Writing Workshop Pinterest Page.


  1. This past year "sharing" was one of my goals. It is the part I always end up skipping. We did okay until the Winter Break, but never really got back into the groove. I wanted us to share a few times each week, and we were lucky to get one. I always, always forget to watch the clock and then we run out of time. The other problem, I think, was that we went straight from writing to lunch and I think everyone was getting grumpy, which meant they transitioned from writing to sharing so slowly that we then wouldn't have time. Maybe if I have the sharing at the beginning? I'm thinking a lot about how my schedule, which left us with a really great, much needed routine, might be tweaked to help us with this problem.

    I would love to have a writing coach to work with! I do have a special education teacher who is in my room frequently and we bounce ideas off each other. But it isn't quite the same.


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