Summer Reading for Writing Teachers: Welcome to the Writing Workshop

Summer Reading

Ever since I read Write Beside Them, I have been on the hunt for the perfect primer to writing workshop — the big, broad strokes. The definitions of all the workshoppy words in one place. Ideas for how to set up the classroom. The gist of what a mini-lesson should sound like and what students should be doing during independent writing time. What should it all look like anyway?

As a newbie to workshop years ago, I wanted this book. Later, I wanted this book to hand to administrators. Now, I want this book for the teachers I support who are interested in writing workshop but need a one-stop-shop to introduce them to the basics.

wwttwwHappily, Stacey Shubitz and Lynne Dorfman have written that book in Welcome to Writing Workshop: Engaging Today’s Students with a Model That WorksIn around 200 pages, this book does it all:

  • Defines writing workshop and common workshop jargon
  • Shares ideas for classroom environments and structures that help workshop work
  • Provides ideas for building writerly community & share sessions
  • Describes common routines and rhythms of workshop classrooms
  • Gives suggestions for managing whole-class and small-group instruction and conferring
  • Shows what independent writing time should look like
  • Discusses how instruction in grammar, conventions, and spelling work within the workshop model

But y’all, one of the things I love so much about this book is not just its incredible breadth, but also the layers upon layers of goodness that exist beyond the primary text. The appendix includes copies of forms you’ll want to help you get started. QR codes throughout the book link to detailed information about topics ranging from pencils versus pens in workshop and paper choices to Two Writing Teachers blog posts and video demonstrations from a variety of teacher’s classrooms.

And online, readers can find 35 videos with classroom teachers and administrators as they explore even deeper levels of workshop understanding through their classroom experiences.

After finishing Welcome to the Writing Workshop, I immediately grabbed my phone to order copies for the teachers in my school who are intrigued by workshop but need a bird’s eye view before they feel comfortable jumping in. This isn’t just a book for elementary teachers, though. Like all good things workshop-related, this book is easily scaffolded up for older students! Sure, the classroom seating might look different in 12th grade than in 2nd grade, but the rhythms and routines of writing workshop remain the same regardless of students’ age.

In a sea of so much professional writing, it’s hard to find a book — even a book I love — that I feel like I will recommend forever. Stacey and Lynne’s Welcome to the Writing Workshop is one of those books — a text that I will constantly reach for to answer colleagues’, administrators’, and even parents’ questions about workshop fundamentals .

We’re giving away a copy of Welcome to the Writing Workshop! Leave a comment below and we will draw one winner on 5/15! 


  1. Although our district has adopted Lucy Calkins for next year, I know that gathering information from more than one source will be the most beneficial for my students.
    And, the book would be a late birthday present since my birthday is May 14!

  2. Although our district has adopted Lucy Calkins for next year, I know that gathering information from one source will be the most beneficial for my students.
    And, the book would be a late birthday present since my birthday is May 14!

  3. This is fantastic! I move from first grade to fifth grade next year and I would love this resource!

  4. Would love to have the perfect go-to-resource for my teachers especially my high school teachers who are still struggling with the entire routine of workshop. They want to, but they just need to understand more. I’m always looking for a book or resource or training to support them. I would love to have a copy to read and then put into the hands of my teachers for a summer book study!

  5. Thank you for the recommendation and this awesome book giveaway! I would love to learn more about how to use the writing workshop model with my students. In addition to helping develop a more structured classroom setting, I think it could also help us bond as a community of learners and writers. Woohoo! Thank you, again! 🙂

  6. I teach in an alternative high school with kids frequently coming and going, where attendance is hit and miss. I feel like the writing workshop approach might help me to better reach my at-risk students.

  7. Oh man. I would love, love, love to win this. Thanks for all the work you do! Your words are impacting more teachers and students than you’ll ever know.

  8. oh goodness, how much would I LOVE to win this given that I’m hoping to finally implement writing workshop fully in this upcoming year… fingers crossed!

  9. Absolutely love your blog & would love to read this book! I already use workshop but want to continue to refine it & will read anything written about it.

  10. I love Write Beside Them and made major changes in how I teach writing. I have a niece who teachers 8th grade English and she will be excited to learn about this book as well.

  11. I am dying to get some help using Writing Workshop in the 12th grade! I’ve been trying it out for the last 4 years or so, using different methods but haven’t really found a good fit yet. I am on the hunt for more insight, for sure!!

  12. This book sounds really intriguing. I have not done a writing workshop before, but I am planning to teach AP English Language next year and this book seems like it can bring some great ideas to the class.

  13. Thanks for this post! I have been looking for help in using the workshop model at the secondary level…this just might be the answer I’m looking for! Plus, any recommendation by Rebekah is always a good one!

  14. Hopefully, this book will clear up the mysteries of writing workshop for many teachers. I love that it is a valuable resource for any grade.

  15. I know I have been struggling with the “how do I X” of writing workshop for some time now. This sounds exactly like what I need.

  16. As a seasoned teacher, I look forward to new and exciting approaches to time-proven strategies for instruction. This book sounds like the perfect resource for revitalizing the Writing Workshop!

  17. I need this! I’ve always wanted to implement a Writer’s Workshop model at our middle school but haven’t taken the leap. It sounds like this is the perfect resource to get me and my 6th grade LA students started.

  18. I also loved Write Beside Them! I have struggled with finding a way to incorporate writing workshop long term and consistently. Would love a resource like this! Thanks for always sharing such important tools!

  19. I work at a school where the workshop model has been implemented for quite some time now. However, I find the routine can grow stale for students, and so I am always on the hunt to liven it up and engage my students! 🙂 Moving Writers has rekindled my flame for teaching reading and writing with all the incredible ideas from other teachers! I already can’t wait to start the next school year- the fresh beginning with new ideas! I look forward to reading this book and seeing what else I can try that will further engage my high school students. 🙂
    Franklin High School English Teacher

  20. What a fantastic resource! I have been attending Heart of Texas Writing Project trainings and using Bomer’s “Building Adolescent Literacy in Today’s English Classroom”, this looks like a great addition to these tools- especially as a quick reference!

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