Writers' Workshop at KDES and MSSD
All students at KDES and MSSD participate in a writers' workshop process to help improve their writing. Here are the components of the workshop:
Each student writes a story about a topic that holds special interest for them. For some, this means drawing a picture, while for others, it may be writing a complex story with paragraphs, dialogue, and interesting events.
Share With Class:
Each student shares his or her story with the class and teacher. As each student finishes sharing, the group queries the student about the story. One person writes down the questions as the student-writer responds. This list of questions is later used by the writer to guide his or her revision.
When a student has finished sharing his or her story, he or she can then begin work on their second drafts. They might add more details, change around the parts of their stories, or take out sections that do not fit.
Once finished with his or her second draft, the student and teacher meet for a content conference. At this time, the teacher reviews the writer's progress and may suggest additional improvements. For example, the teacher may tell the student that he or she needs a title, or that the ending is incomplete. The teacher also helps the student ask others in the group for suggestions. Occasionally, the teacher may explain how to make paragraphs using a web to help understand one part of the story.
The students then self-edit their stories. The teacher provides forms to help check for spelling, capital letters, periods, and so on.
Editing Conference with Teacher:
After self-editing the story, the student puts the story in an editing box. The teacher reads through the story highlighting the positive aspects of the story, as well as those areas needing improvement. The teacher and student meet again to discuss the revised story. The teacher points out what works as well as where the student can improve the story. The student follows up by making the necessary changes in the story.
About the Author/Dedication:
Each student then writes a paragraph about him or herself along with a dedication page. These items will be added to the typed copy.
Prepare for Publishing:
Each student then composes his or her story, biography paragraph, and dedication on a computer.
The students bind their books after printing out their work. When their publications are ready, they again share their stories with the class. The students take their stories home at the end of the workshop to share with their parents and/or caregivers.