Writer’s Workshop is a highly effective model for the teaching of writing at all grade levels. Teachers who use this method report greater student growth, engagement, and independence—as well as increased satisfaction with their teaching practice.
However, learning to implement Writer’s Workshop—as with all professional development— requires time. It also requires opportunities to:
- participate in the model and practice the techniques
- observe Writer’s Workshop in action
- develop lessons and assessment tools
- reflect on practice with guidance and supportive feedback
- engage in meaningful discussions
- clarify understanding and make new discoveries in follow-up sessions
- share learning (and the success of improvement!) with colleagues
Because I believe in the power of doing rather than “learning by listening,” I now recommend two days for initial seminars. Two full days give teachers time to actually experience the method before attempting to practice it on their own. Two days can also allow time for me to model lessons in your classrooms.
In addition to seminars, I offer these support services (also available to schools that have been reading, discussing, and implementing the techniques in my book No More “I’m Done!” Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary Classroom):
- Skype visits
- Consultation calls with the instructional facilitators or administrators
- Designed-for-you visual podcasts (response to questions or a presentation on the topic of your choice)
- Informal observations of teachers who have embraced the model and are eager to help support others in their growth
- New teacher seminars (for schools that have been consistently practicing Writer’s Workshop)
I am happy to create a professional development package for your school or district, tailored to your needs. I do offer a flat fee for this suggested combination:
- Two seminar days in which teachers interact with the model and each other
- A day of modeling in classrooms with debriefing sessions (can be a third consecutive day or come at a later date)
- Three consultation calls
- Two follow-up Skype visits or podcasts
Please contact me to discuss your needs and pricing.
"I absolutely loved your workshop. In fact, you have completely changed my life! We have been in school now for 3 weeks and I honestly can't wait to teach writing every day. My kids are achieving so much more than I could have ever asked for and their 4th grade teachers are shocked. You have truly saved me from a life of boredom in teaching writing. I am your number one fan in Omaha."
— Lisa Kessler, Fifth grade teacher
Conference Break-out Sessions
The Successful Writer’s Workshop (2 days)
Writer’s Workshop is an acclaimed model that supports increased daily writing and allows students to move through the writing process with explicit instruction, immediate feedback, and authentic audience. In this seminar, participants examine effective routines and teaching practices that help students become skilled, powerful writers. How to teach the CCSS within a workshop model is covered.
Developing Mini-lessons Based on Student Data (and CCSS) (Full Day)
In this advanced seminar (practice in Writer’s Workshop required), participants examine student writing and then develop and share a series of mini-lessons based on the data. This workshop not only helps teachers to better interpret student writing (and gain more skill in conferencing), it offers me an opportunity to clarify misconceptions and deepen teachers’ understanding of Writer’s Workshop. Teachers leave with a newfound confidence that’s inspiring.
Successful Writing Conferences (75 minutes)
In theory writing conferences are the ideal method for providing feedback. In practice, they can be overwhelming. Learn how to provide students with specific praise, guide revision, and teach new skills — all within a limited (but highly effective) use of time. You’ll gain techniques to meet the needs of all your students with individualized, motivational, successful instruction.
Writer’s Workshop: The First Fifteen Days (75 minutes)
“Help! I get the concept of writer’s workshop, but how do I begin?” In this session, you’ll learn how to prepare, and which initial lessons are most effective in guiding your students in becoming engaged, productive, independent writers. Once you’ve established a successful writer’s workshop, you’ll never give it up!
Writing Traits with Super Powers (75 minutes)
Two of the most powerful tools in a writer’s kit are the ability to focus a topic and the inclusion of quality details. When honing these skills, students also grow in their use of organization, voice, and sentence fluency. In this session, Jennifer will present mini-lessons that develop an understanding of focus and detail in three modes of writing: narrative, informative and opinion — lessons that will truly help your students’ writing to take off!
Fall seven times, stand up eight.
In this lively keynote, I share humorous and heartrending stories of perseverance that led me to success as a writer. I spotlight the determination of my literary characters (which sometimes looks a lot like my own) and reinforces both the necessity and value of failure. Audience members gain insight on how fiction evolves, and inspired to be masters of their own life story.
Workshops for Instructional Facilitators and Literacy Coaches
Day 1 Writer’s Workshop (Prerequisite)
This day will provide instructional leaders with a layered, in-depth view of Writer’s Workshop. Writer’s Workshop is a researched-based model that supports increased daily writing and allows students to move through the writing process with explicit instruction, immediate feedback, and authentic audience. The seminar, participants will examine effective routines and teaching practices that help students become skilled, independent, engaged writers.
Day 2 Facilitating Growth in Use of the Workshop Model (For those who have attended my course on Writer’s Workshop.)
This seminar will provide facilitators and coaches with the tools and materials they need to support teachers in their examination, practice, and growth in teaching Writer’s Workshop. Participants will be better equipped to coach individuals and to present effective professional development. We’ll reflect upon and practice ways to help teachers:
- Risk trying a new model, and sustain practice through the rough patches
- Increase their understanding of effective minilessons, and their confidence in designing them
- Assess student writing to determine progress, differentiate instruction, and develop appropriate minilessons
- Troubleshoot potential problems and solutions
- Celebrate the rewards of a successful writing program
Please contact me directly to arrange a seminar, residency, or author visit.