Writing Workshop Captivates 3rd Grade Authors
Several days a week you can find the third grade class busily writing and revising as they participate in Writing Workshop. Their most recent unit was on Small Moment Narratives. Students were asked to select an event or experience they have had that was memorable and important to them. By allowing students to choose their own topic, engagement and ownership is increased. Students began the process by writing a rough draft. These initial drafts are absent of convention and spelling constraints, allowing students to fill pages with their thoughts and ideas. Students are required to write in pen which aids them in not worrying about erasing and constantly correcting their work. The creative process is free flowing and not encumbered by the “rules” of writing. The students are asked to skip lines which allows them space to go back and add information or make desired revisions and edits.
Students continue to review and revise over the course of several weeks. They met with their teacher and shared their work with peers for ideas and feedback. Once they felt their papers were ready for publishing, they created a final draft which included an About the Author page, illustrations and book cover.
The culmination of the writing unit was "Author's Day". Students and guests quietly circulated through the classroom reading other writer’s published work and then leaving thoughts and feedback for the author. The class took time to reflect on the entire unit and share what they enjoyed and what could be improved.
Mrs. Hinshaw had this to say about the writing project, "As teachers we witnessed tremendous growth from our class. They became enthusiastic about the writing process and demonstrated mastery of many important writing skills. One student in particular began the year saying, “How many sentences do I have to write?” Now that same students fills pages of writing and is disappointed when our writing time concludes. So exciting!"