Where does writing workshop go next?
Traditionally, writing workshop is organized around genres. We write editorials, learning about the conventions of that genre, incorporating it into pieces of student writing, and then move on to narrative. Then literary analysis. Then, perhaps, a This I Believe essay. And this is great. Genre is important. Students must understand the differences between the genres — both in terms of purpose and conventions — in order to write anything at all. We love genre study. We do not want to get rid of genre study.
But, over the years, we have encountered a few classroom circumstances and a few students who pushed us to think about something else, something new, something beyond genre study. This is technique study, and this is what we will be exploring in our session.
Here are some questions to answer to see if, perhaps, your student writers could benefit from a technique-driven workshop:
- Do your students have rich ideas that don’t necessarily all fit into the same form at the same time?
- Do your students need to move toward increasing independence in their writing?
- Do you teach writing in a class that focuses on the writing of a single genre, but you would like to use a workshop model? (Like AP or IB English which focus primarily on the writing of literary analysis)
- Do you need a way to differentiate instruction between grades or between class levels? A place for writing workshop to grow as students move into new English courses?
- Is your whole class proficient in their knowledge of genre-based writing and in need of a new challenge?
- Is your whole class struggling with a particular element of craft and in need of reinforcement?
- Do you have a student who wants to take her writing to the “next level”?
- Do your students crave practicality and the direct transference of skills from one writing experience to the next?
A technique-based workshop or strategic technique-based studies can do so much for students — our excellent writers, our struggling writers, our bored writers, and our super-engaged writers.
Join us SUNDAY at 10:30am in Magnolia 2 to hear more about this new kind of workshop, to listen to students tell you how this experience has transformed their writing, to play in a technique-based study yourself, and to get materials to take directly into your classroom!
Connect with us on Twitter to let us know where you will be at #ncte14! We are so excited to see you! @allisonmarchett and @rebekahodell1