Is the writing workshop the only way to teach writing? No. There are a variety of approaches or programs, but none of them matches the writing workshop when it comes to growing strong writers. That's why, despite the pressures of testing, the writing workshop has endured and even flourished in thousands of schools across the country.
Today we face a time when as many as ten million new teachers are entering the profession. It is for these teachers, and others who are unfamiliar with writing workshop, that Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi wrote this bookas a way to introduce and explain the writing workshop . . . to reveal what a potent tool the writing workshop can be for empowering young writers.
Above all Writing Workshop is a practical book, providing everything a teacher needs to get the writing workshop up and running. In clear language, Fletcher and Portalupi explain the simple principles that underlie the writing workshop and explore the major components that make it work. Each chapter addresses an essential element, then suggests five or six specific things a teacher can do to implement the idea under discussion. There's also a separate chapter entitled "What About Skills," which shows how to effectively teach skills in the context of writing. The book closes with practical forms in the appendixes to ensure that the workshop runs smoothly.
Fletcher and Portalupi's twenty-plus years working with teachers have convinced them that there is no better way to teach writing. This important book is the culmination of all their years of effort, a synthesis of their best thinking on the subject.