The Writing Workshop Chapters 10 and 16 and Viewing Writer’s Workshop Through a Critical Lens

I think the curriculum (strategies, techniques, questions, relationships, and conventions) Ray teaches in the writing workshop are very important. I think I would have enjoyed writing more and would have been a stronger writer if I had learned these in school. I like how Ray showed her students a piece of her own work while teaching them one of her favorite collection strategies. Likewise, she showed them a time where she went back and incorporated a technique into her writing.  It is important for students to see that teachers are learning and practicing too. I also like how Ray said that technique lessons were lessons in which “try-its” make the most sense. I have been struggling with when it is appropriate to use “try-its.” I love the question “am I in a rut?” I think this is something to think about. I know I have been guilty of being in a writing rut before. I also loved the comparison between getting your writing read to take out into the world and getting dressed in the morning. This is so true! One of my biggest pet peeves is grammatical mistakes. 

“It’s not that we are against lesson planning, it’s just that, well, we have bigger lives than that in a writing workshop (188).” This statement shows how powerful the writing workshop is. Instead of the typical lesson plans, the writing workshop begins with an orchestrating vision. This vision is very important and should lead the entire writing workshop. I think the management aspect of the planning will be the easiest part. I am very organized, so this comes naturally to me. I think planning the units of study and developing curriculum for the units of study will be more difficult at first, but become easier once relationships are formed with the students. I am worried that determining the scope and sequence of the unit of study will be very difficult since there is no logical procession for most units. However, I felt better after reading the questions we should be asking ourselves and the examples Ray provided. I think author and genre studies will be easier to teach because there is a logical procession of lessons. While writing daily lessons plans will be a challenge, it is good to have some sort of idea of how the day will go. It is also important to record what ended up happening in order to reflect on your teaching. Reflecting on our lessons will help us move forward more thoughtfully.

I agree that too much of writing is just retelling events instead of critically thinking about these events and their impact on the world. We should encourage to students to question the world around them instead of just observing it. Too much of student writing is irrelevant, but how could you tell a student this without taking away their freedom to write about what interests them? I am torn on the issue of share time. I think it is a great opportunity for children to get feedback on their work and I know I always liked to hear what my peers were working on. At the same time, I understand and have experienced being embarrassed or scared to share my work with the whole class. I think there needs to be a balance. I want my students to want to share and be proud of their work. 

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2 thoughts on “The Writing Workshop Chapters 10 and 16 and Viewing Writer’s Workshop Through a Critical Lens

  1. I struggle with the whole issue of relevance in writing. I’m not sure I would ever call anyone’s writing irrelevant. perhaps it seems irrelevant to me, but what if it is meaningful to the child? I am just not sure we can always judge that effectively, although during conferences we may be able to tell when writers are uninspired and need to renew their ideas and plans.

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