A Division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Heinemann

Launch a Primary Writing Workshop

Getting Started with Units of Study for Primary Writing, Grades K-2

Lucy Calkins, Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University

ISBN 978-0-325-03742-4 / 0-325-03742-6 / 2010 / 252pp / Bundle
Imprint: FirstHand
Availability: This title is out of print.
Grade Level: K - 2nd
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“If the writing workshop is always changing, always haphazard, children remain pawns waiting for their teacher’s agenda. For this reason and others, I think it is so important for each day’s workshop to have a clear, simple structure. Children should know what to expect. This allows them to carry on; it frees the teacher from choreographing activities and allows time for listening. How we structure the workshop is less important than that we structure it.”
—Lucy Calkins

Learn how to take your students from pictorial story telling into fluent writing and how Lucy Calkins and her colleagues launch a rigorous and responsive primary writing workshop. Through 2 foundational books—The Nuts and Bolts of Teaching Writing and Launching the Writing Workshop—and eight online video clips, Lucy and her colleagues provide the strategies, lesson plans, and tools you’ll need to jump in and teach writing to your students in powerful, lasting ways.

The Nuts and Bolts of Teaching Writing equips you to teach a productive, well-managed writing workshop, introduces you to the methods that underlie all writing instruction, and helps you plan a yearlong curriculum in the teaching of writing. In addition to guiding you through the classroom systems and teaching structures that are the foundation of a primary writing workshop, this comprehensive overview also includes chapters about working within developmental stages of writing, supporting English language learners, and assessing writers.

Whether you have taught in a writing workshop for years or are just learning the term, Launching the Writing Workshop will offer you a comprehensive plan for the first four weeks of a primary writing workshop. Lucy and Leah Mermelstein present both the precise language and pacing of their teaching and the reasoning behind it, so that you can create the same powerful experiences with your own children. Whether writers write just a few labels on items in their pictures or write paragraphs, by the end of this unit all children know that in order to write, a writer fills him or herself with an idea, plans how the text will go, and then draws and writes as best he and she can, working to make the page match the writer’s vision.

The eight accompanying video clips convey the inner workings of writing workshops in a variety of primary classrooms. These live-from-the-classroom video clips are supported and enhanced by an optional voice-over coaching commentary from Lucy that explains the teaching moves and strategies. (Video clips are free for 6 months upon registration. You must register within 6 months of purchase.)

Learn more about these resources and the series at www.unitsofstudy.com.

This pack is part of firsthand’s Getting Started series.

Bridging the gap between educational theory and practice, firsthand classroom materials model the carefully crafted techniques and language of master teachers in ways that help teachers refine their practice and reinvent their own teaching. The most comprehensive of these resources span more than a year of instruction. Firsthand’s Getting Started Packs were created for teachers in training and professional book study groups who want a compact, affordable way to study and tryout these transformative classroom materials. Each Getting Started Pack includes an overview book, a complete unit of study, online video clips provided free of charge for 6 months, and an accompanying study guide.

Getting Started packs include: Launch a Primary Writing Workshop, Grades K-2; Launch an Intermediate Writing Workshop, Grades 3-5; Launch an Intermediate Reading Workshop, Grades 3-5; Introduce the Qualities of Writing, Grades 3-6; Monitor Comprehension with Primary Students, Grades K-2; Monitor Comprehension with Intermediate Students, Grades 3-6; Investigate the Number System, Grades K-3; Investigate Multiplication, Grades 3-5; Investigate Fractions, Grades 4-6.

The Nuts and Bolts of Teaching Writing
Chapter 1: An Overview
Chapter 2: Pathways for Writers: "My Children Don't Yet Know Their ABCs. How Can They Write?"
Chapter 3: Planning Curriculum in a Primary Writing Workshop
Chapter 4: Managing the Writing Workshop
Chapter 5: Teaching Methods: Minilessons That Power Your Curriculum
Chapter 6: Conferring with Young Writers
Chapter 7: Assessing Writers Throughout the Year
Chapter 8: The Literacy Instruction That Surrounds and Supports the Teaching of Writing
Chapter 9: Assessment

Launching the Writing Workshop
Part 1: Working Independently in a Writing Workshop
Session 1: Starting the Writing Workshop
Session 2: Carrying On Independently as Writers
Session 3: Using Supplies Independently
Session 4: Telling Stories In Illustrations
Session 5: Drawing Even Hard-to-Make Ideas

Part 2: Using Writing, Along with Pictures, to Tell Each Story
Session 6: Using Both Pictures and Words, Like Famous Authors
Session 7: Stretching and Writing Words
Session 8: Stretching and Writing Words: Initial Sounds
Session 9: Spelling the Best We Can . . . and Moving On
Session 10: Using Writing Tools: The Alphabet Chart

Part 3: Writing Longer, More Varied, More Thoughtful Pieces
Session 11: Creating a Place for Writing-in-Progress: Long-Term Projects
Session 12: Introducing Booklets
Session 13: Widening Writing Possibilities: Lists and Letters
Session 14: Widening Writing Possibilities: Real-World Purposes

Part 4: Preparing For Publication
Session 15: Fixing Up Writing
Session 16: Editing and Fancying Up Writing
Session 17: Reading into the Circle: An Author’s Celebration

VIDEO clips from Big Lessons from Small Writers DVD (8 clips with 6 months of free online access)
• Minilesson with Coaching Commentary: Lucy teaches the class a strategy for writing more (7:00)
• Minilesson: Lucy teaches the class a strategy for writing more (7:00)
• Conference with Coaching Commentary: Lucy teaches Jacob a strategy for revising (5:00)
• Conference: Lucy teaches Jacob a strategy for revising (5:00)
• Teaching Point with Coaching Commentary: Lucy teaches the class Jacob’s strategy for making room for details (1:00)
• Teaching Point: Lucy teaches the class Jacob’s strategy for making room for details (1:00)
• Share with Coaching Commentary: Lucy teaches the class a strategy for revising stories (5:00)
• Writing Example with Coaching Commentary: Alejandro uses blanks to help him leave spaces between words (5:00)

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