Self-Directed Writers by Leah Mermelstein. The Third Essential Element in the Writing Workshop - Heinemann Publishing
Self-Directed Writers
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Self-Directed Writers

The Third Essential Element in the Writing Workshop

By Leah Mermelstein
Foreword by Matt Glover, Matt Glover

"It’s not surprising that schools have the power to either help or hinder students in becoming more self-directed. This book will show you how to teach, plan, and speak in ways that nurture kids to become even more self-directed during writing workshop, as well as pave the way for them to become self-directed adults." —Leah Mermelstein

"I’m done. What should I do now?"

If you hear this question all too often during the independent work portion of writing workshop, Leah Mermelstein has a solution for making this time more productive for both students and teachers. Along with making time for writing...

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Full Description

"It’s not surprising that schools have the power to either help or hinder students in becoming more self-directed. This book will show you how to teach, plan, and speak in ways that nurture kids to become even more self-directed during writing workshop, as well as pave the way for them to become self-directed adults." —Leah Mermelstein

"I’m done. What should I do now?"

If you hear this question all too often during the independent work portion of writing workshop, Leah Mermelstein has a solution for making this time more productive for both students and teachers. Along with making time for writing workshop every day, and planning long-term for it, Leah argues that the “third essential element,” creating self-directed writers, is key to the success of writing workshops.

Using a wealth of classroom anecdotes, student samples and specific teaching language, Leah illustrates how even the youngest students can become self-directed learners. Her explicit strategies include:

  • creating an appropriate physical environment along with daily rituals and routines
  • scaffolding instruction with Write Alouds and Interactive Writing
  • planning units, focus lessons, conferences, and shares that are aimed at helping kids become self-directed.

Leah details 10 qualities that teachers can nurture in students to help them meet and exceed the Common Core State Standards in a high quality writing workshop.

Give Leah’s practical strategies and tips a try, and transform your writing workshop from a chorus of “what next?” to the quiet hum of deeply engaged kids.

Download a sample chapter here.

Contents

Chapter 1: The Essential Elements of a Writing Workshop

Chapter 2: Self-Directed Writers: The Third Essential Element of a K-5 Writing Workshop

Chapter 3: Creating Physical Environments That Kids Can Easily Navigate

Chapter 4: Managing the Writing Workshop to Support Self-Directed Learning

Chapter 5: The Role of Scaffolded Instruction in Creating Self-Directed Writers

Chapter 6: Planning a Yearlong Curriculum That Emphasizes Self-Directed Learning

Chapter 7: Planning Units of Study That Create Self-Directed Learners

Chapter 8: Designing Focus Lessons, Conferences, and Shares for Self-Directed Learning

Samples

Companion Resources

Appendices