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About the Authors

Writing Workshop with Our Youngest Writers

By Katie Wood Ray, Lisa B Cleaveland

About the Authors is about the littlest authors—those in kindergarten through second grade. Based on a profound understanding of the ways in which young children learn, it shows teachers how to launch a writing workshop by inviting children to do what they do naturally—make stuff. So why not write books?

Gifted educator and author of the best-selling What You Know by Heart (Heinemann, 2002), Katie Wood Ray has seen young authors do just that. And she wants your students to be able to do the same. Beautifully describing young children in the act of learning, she demonstrates what...

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About the Authors is about the littlest authors—those in kindergarten through second grade. Based on a profound understanding of the ways in which young children learn, it shows teachers how to launch a writing workshop by inviting children to do what they do naturally—make stuff. So why not write books?

Gifted educator and author of the best-selling What You Know by Heart (Heinemann, 2002), Katie Wood Ray has seen young authors do just that. And she wants your students to be able to do the same. Beautifully describing young children in the act of learning, she demonstrates what it takes to nourish writing right from the start:

  • a supportive environment that enables even the youngest students to write
  • respect and sensitivity to the way children really learn
  • inviting instruction that both encourages and elevates young writers
  • rich language that stimulates writing
  • classroom talk and children's literature that energize young writers
  • developmental considerations that shape the structure of the workshop, making it natural, joyful, and absolutely appropriate.
What's more, Ray explains step by step how to set up and maintain a primary writing workshop, detailing eleven units of study that cover idea generation, text structures, different genres, and illustrations that work with text. She also draws on data, projects, and the language of teaching used in the classroom of first-grade teacher Lisa Cleaveland. Ray allows readers to "listen in" to Lisa as she helps her young students learn from professional writers, work with intention, and think about their own process.

Chockfull of examples of little books by young children, About the Authors is proof positive that a primary writing workshop is a smart writing move.

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