Launching the Writer's Workshop: Grades 3-12

Launching the Writer's Workshop: Grades 3-12

About this online workshop

Many teachers have confessed that they struggle to get their writer's workshop off the ground. What should I do the first weeks of school? What are key lessons to jump-start my writing curriculum? How fast or slow should I move? Regardless of the writing model you're currently using, this online workshop provides participants with a powerful framework of lessons that can help launch their writing year. Throughout the workshop, teachers will have the opportunity to plot and plan their own instructional calendar for teaching writing during the first six weeks of school. At the end of the workshop, teachers will be ready to go with their personalized blueprints in hand!

Topics:

  • Understand the four phases of the workshop launch.
  • Learn classroom-tested routines and procedures to establish the writing environment.
  • Set the tone that writing occurs daily.
  • Receive organizational ideas for writers' notebooks.
  • Learn day-by-day strategies to introduce the 6 Traits of Writing so teachers and students are using a common language.
  • Balance free-choice writing topics with teacher-assigned topics.
  • Receive ready-to-go lessons with supporting resources, activity pages, and authentic student writing samples.

When you complete the course, you'll be able to:

  • Kick off the school year with a 20-day "game plan" for teaching writing.
  • Establish routines to effectively manage a writer's workshop.
  • Address common writer dependencies with procedural mini-lessons.
  • Implement a writer's notebook in the classroom.
  • Lead efficient and effective writing conferences with students.
  • Develop a classroom writing rubric that students can use and understand.
  • Transition from procedural lessons into the first writing unit.

Top questions teachers ask about launching writing:

  • Which workshop procedures are essential for effective classroom management?
  • What physical spaces and places should I have within my classroom environment?
  • How do I motivate my writers to use class time productively?
  • How do I help my students develop more interesting writing topics?
  • How can I motivate students to go beyond "fixing their mistakes" during revision?
  • What are some proven methods for introducing students to the 6 Traits of Writing?
  • How do I effectively organize my students' writings in notebooks, binders, or folders?

DOWNLOAD WORKSHOP OVERVIEW

What teachers say about this workshop

“This was what I wanted to see. I feel prepared and ready to jump in!” Kaitlyn Caskey, teacher at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, Kettering, OH

“I absolutely love your products, and, in fact, my entire 4th grade team started on the first day of school with Kristina's personal post-it notes to plan 'launching the writing workshop,' and it was phenomenal! We now have students writing 3-5 paragraph essays in the writer workshop model! Thank you for fun, engaging lessons and mentor texts that are easy to implement and use!” Megan McAdams, teacher at Frances Slocum Elementary, Marion, IN

“I finally feel like I have a handle on how to approach writing. As a middle school history teacher who has to also do a period of writing, this has been invaluable. Loved it!” Huston Mathias, grade 8 US History & writing teacher at Ingersoll Middle School, Canton, IL

“Always inspiring! It never fails — I always come away with fresh ideas and the resources to put the ideas into action!” Samantha Walterman, master teacher at Winchester Village Elementary School, Indianapolis, IN

“I'm teaching writer's workshop with grades 3-6 and this will help me build & grow students' skills year after year PLUS get classroom teachers comfortable teaching 6+1 Traits in our building.” Eileen Germek, writer's workshop instructor at Saint Michael School, Schererville, IN

“It is a great feeling to be given the tools to start Smekens at the start of a new school year! Awesome workshops! Best presentation I've been to in my 14 years of teaching!” Lacy Ehrman, teacher at New Berlin Elementary School, New Berlin, IL

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the workshop start and finish?

The workshop can begin at any time.

How long do I have access to the workshop?

After enrollment, you have access to the content for 30 days. You determine how fast or slow you want to progress through the workshop during this time.

Can I share my workshop with colleagues?

Sorry, online workshop sharing is not allowed. Our Terms of Use specify that one registration fee allows access for just one person. However, we are happy to offer group discounts. Give us a call at (888) 376-0448 to get the details.

Can I get continuing education credits?

Most likely! With prior approval from your school district, participants may receive credit for up to 5 hours of professional development for each workshop. A certificate of completion is available when you select the "Verified View." No certificate is awarded when you select the "Flexible View." For possible Illinois-approved credit, please contact our office.

Can I earn graduate-level credit?

Thanks to a partnership with the University of the Pacific, educators who complete a webAcademy workshop are eligible to pursue one, two, or three nationally-accredited graduate-level semester units. To earn graduate-level units, participants must select the "Verified View" enrollment option. The cost of graduate-level units ($62 per unit) is separate from the cost of the online workshop.

Graduate-level units offered through the University of the Pacific are non-degree units which are designed for professional certification renewals and salary step increases. (These are post-baccalaureate professional development semester units of non-degree graduate-level and are not applicable to a degree at University of the Pacific.) For details, please contact support@smekenseducation.com or call (888) 376-0448.

What if I am unhappy with the workshop?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are not satisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 10 days, and we will give you a full refund.

Workshop Outline

  • Introduction to the online workshop
  • Let's get started! - Handout
  • Workshop Overview
  • Phase #1 - Writing Topics
  • Identify common purposes for writing
  • Organize writing ideas
  • Phase #2 - Setting Expectations
  • Daily Instruction and Writing Time
  • Outline Sharing Time/ Author's Chair
  • Increase the Duration of Writing Time
  • Establish Help! Tent expectations
  • Hold teacher-writer meetings
  • Update yearlong calendar
  • Phase #2 - Creating Notebooks
  • Consider format options for writer's notebooks
  • Introduce the writer's notebook
  • Update yearlong calendar
  • Phase #2 - Motivating Writers
  • Establish a "Done" List
  • Update yearlong calendar
  • Make space to revise and develop peer conversations
  • Phase #2 - Targeting Spelling
  • Develop independent spellers
  • Update yearlong calendar
  • Require a You do, I do attitude
  • Phase #3 - Introducing the 6 Traits
  • Define "good" writing
  • Establish the 6 Traits
  • Utilize 6-Traits triggers
  • Reveal mentor text examples
  • Select mentor texts
  • Sing trait-based songs
  • Build a yearlong visual display
  • Phase #4 - Building Rubrics
  • Establish a rubric
  • Conclusion - Wrap-up
  • Wrap-up

About this online workshop

Many teachers have confessed that they struggle to get their writer's workshop off the ground. What should I do the first weeks of school? What are key lessons to jump-start my writing curriculum? How fast or slow should I move? Regardless of the writing model you're currently using, this online workshop provides participants with a powerful framework of lessons that can help launch their writing year. Throughout the workshop, teachers will have the opportunity to plot and plan their own instructional calendar for teaching writing during the first six weeks of school. At the end of the workshop, teachers will be ready to go with their personalized blueprints in hand!

Topics:

  • Understand the four phases of the workshop launch.
  • Learn classroom-tested routines and procedures to establish the writing environment.
  • Set the tone that writing occurs daily.
  • Receive organizational ideas for writers' notebooks.
  • Learn day-by-day strategies to introduce the 6 Traits of Writing so teachers and students are using a common language.
  • Balance free-choice writing topics with teacher-assigned topics.
  • Receive ready-to-go lessons with supporting resources, activity pages, and authentic student writing samples.

When you complete the course, you'll be able to:

  • Kick off the school year with a 20-day "game plan" for teaching writing.
  • Establish routines to effectively manage a writer's workshop.
  • Address common writer dependencies with procedural mini-lessons.
  • Implement a writer's notebook in the classroom.
  • Lead efficient and effective writing conferences with students.
  • Develop a classroom writing rubric that students can use and understand.
  • Transition from procedural lessons into the first writing unit.

Top questions teachers ask about launching writing:

  • Which workshop procedures are essential for effective classroom management?
  • What physical spaces and places should I have within my classroom environment?
  • How do I motivate my writers to use class time productively?
  • How do I help my students develop more interesting writing topics?
  • How can I motivate students to go beyond "fixing their mistakes" during revision?
  • What are some proven methods for introducing students to the 6 Traits of Writing?
  • How do I effectively organize my students' writings in notebooks, binders, or folders?

DOWNLOAD WORKSHOP OVERVIEW

What teachers say about this workshop

“This was what I wanted to see. I feel prepared and ready to jump in!” Kaitlyn Caskey, teacher at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, Kettering, OH

“I absolutely love your products, and, in fact, my entire 4th grade team started on the first day of school with Kristina's personal post-it notes to plan 'launching the writing workshop,' and it was phenomenal! We now have students writing 3-5 paragraph essays in the writer workshop model! Thank you for fun, engaging lessons and mentor texts that are easy to implement and use!” Megan McAdams, teacher at Frances Slocum Elementary, Marion, IN

“I finally feel like I have a handle on how to approach writing. As a middle school history teacher who has to also do a period of writing, this has been invaluable. Loved it!” Huston Mathias, grade 8 US History & writing teacher at Ingersoll Middle School, Canton, IL

“Always inspiring! It never fails — I always come away with fresh ideas and the resources to put the ideas into action!” Samantha Walterman, master teacher at Winchester Village Elementary School, Indianapolis, IN

“I'm teaching writer's workshop with grades 3-6 and this will help me build & grow students' skills year after year PLUS get classroom teachers comfortable teaching 6+1 Traits in our building.” Eileen Germek, writer's workshop instructor at Saint Michael School, Schererville, IN

“It is a great feeling to be given the tools to start Smekens at the start of a new school year! Awesome workshops! Best presentation I've been to in my 14 years of teaching!” Lacy Ehrman, teacher at New Berlin Elementary School, New Berlin, IL

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the workshop start and finish?

The workshop can begin at any time.

How long do I have access to the workshop?

After enrollment, you have access to the content for 30 days. You determine how fast or slow you want to progress through the workshop during this time.

Can I share my workshop with colleagues?

Sorry, online workshop sharing is not allowed. Our Terms of Use specify that one registration fee allows access for just one person. However, we are happy to offer group discounts. Give us a call at (888) 376-0448 to get the details.

Can I get continuing education credits?

Most likely! With prior approval from your school district, participants may receive credit for up to 5 hours of professional development for each workshop. A certificate of completion is available when you select the "Verified View." No certificate is awarded when you select the "Flexible View." For possible Illinois-approved credit, please contact our office.

Can I earn graduate-level credit?

Thanks to a partnership with the University of the Pacific, educators who complete a webAcademy workshop are eligible to pursue one, two, or three nationally-accredited graduate-level semester units. To earn graduate-level units, participants must select the "Verified View" enrollment option. The cost of graduate-level units ($62 per unit) is separate from the cost of the online workshop.

Graduate-level units offered through the University of the Pacific are non-degree units which are designed for professional certification renewals and salary step increases. (These are post-baccalaureate professional development semester units of non-degree graduate-level and are not applicable to a degree at University of the Pacific.) For details, please contact support@smekenseducation.com or call (888) 376-0448.

What if I am unhappy with the workshop?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are not satisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 10 days, and we will give you a full refund.

Workshop Outline

  • Introduction to the online workshop
  • Let's get started! - Handout
  • Workshop Overview
  • Phase #1 - Writing Topics
  • Identify common purposes for writing
  • Organize writing ideas
  • Phase #2 - Setting Expectations
  • Daily Instruction and Writing Time
  • Outline Sharing Time/ Author's Chair
  • Increase the Duration of Writing Time
  • Establish Help! Tent expectations
  • Hold teacher-writer meetings
  • Update yearlong calendar
  • Phase #2 - Creating Notebooks
  • Consider format options for writer's notebooks
  • Introduce the writer's notebook
  • Update yearlong calendar
  • Phase #2 - Motivating Writers
  • Establish a "Done" List
  • Update yearlong calendar
  • Make space to revise and develop peer conversations
  • Phase #2 - Targeting Spelling
  • Develop independent spellers
  • Update yearlong calendar
  • Require a You do, I do attitude
  • Phase #3 - Introducing the 6 Traits
  • Define "good" writing
  • Establish the 6 Traits
  • Utilize 6-Traits triggers
  • Reveal mentor text examples
  • Select mentor texts
  • Sing trait-based songs
  • Build a yearlong visual display
  • Phase #4 - Building Rubrics
  • Establish a rubric
  • Conclusion - Wrap-up
  • Wrap-up