Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
January 24, 2014

Helpful Tips to Integrate Grammar in Writing Workshop

By Rhonda Stewart
Grades 3–5, 6–8

    The workshop model is based on the philosophy of the teacher being the facilitator. I teach (teacher demonstrates/models mini-lesson), we do (students practice the strategy with the teacher or with each other), and then you do (releasing the student to work independently). I am very comfortable with this model. My students have the opportunity to try out skills I taught with their literacy partners. While they are working in their partnerships, I can quickly assess through partner talks who will need my help when I release them to work independently. This allows for those who did not need my direct instruction to go off and work, while I re-teach a skill to those who may have struggled.

    The Writing Process

    The writing process has about five steps. The steps may have different labels such as:

    • Planning, Drafting, Revising, Editing, Publishing

    • Outline, Draft, Revise, Edit, Publish

    • Pre-Writing, Drafting, Revision, Editing, Publish

    For those who are using the Teacher’s College (TCRWP) format, there are some differences. That process is:

    • Immersion, Gathering Entries, Choosing a Seed Idea, Developing the Seed Idea, Drafting, Revising, Publishing, Celebration

    No matter which process you use, the common denominators throughout take you from drafting to publishing. There may be different labels, but the process and end result are the same: students must create a genre-specific writing piece with proficiency. 

     

    Fitting In Grammar

    There has been more than one occasion during my department meetings with my colleagues where we discuss the units of study. One of the” hot topics” that always leads to very engaging conversation is grammar. My colleagues and I are constantly on a quest to find the best way to integrate grammar into writing workshop. There is a school of thought that you should not teach grammar in writing workshop until the editing process. I think it would be impossible however, to teach all the rules of grammar if grammar were only taught at that point.

    So where and how to maximize literacy instruction to include grammar is the burning question. I am still in search mode, but have found these to be extremely helpful:

    Student Writing Conferences — This is where you can differentiate instruction to meet the student’s needs using their own writing. I use my student’s notebooks to get a sense of what I need to coach during conferencing. Take a look at my post on "Creating a Reader's/Writer's Toolkit" and then the one on using the toolkit to know what resources you should have accessible at a moment’s notice. If I notice that a majority of my students are having struggles with the same grammatical concept, it becomes a lesson for the entire class.

      

    Sample resources I use during conferring.

    Anchor Charts — A well-placed anchor chart reinforces instruction and promotes independence amongst my students. There are some anchor charts that can live in the classroom all year and there are some that are unit-specific. My students are encouraged to refer to the charts for guidance.

     

    This lives in my classroom for each writing unit.

     

      

    I borrowed this eye-catching chart from Chelsea Kimmel, who also teaches sixth grade in my building. It reinforces grammar rules and is a great resource for students to tap into without me having to re-teach. What a time saver!
     

    Writing Center Resources — Students are able to access materials from the writing center as needed. The materials range from dictionaries, thesaurus, student writing samples, mentor texts, and our latest addition: bulletin board aids. 

                                                   
     

    Writing Partners — Students are given an opportunity to work with their partners to improve their writing as well as to assist one another. This process is an invaluable tool as there are some students who learn better from their peers.

    My students are my writing partners. They get to observe my style/method of writing. I must admit, it is not pretty when I'm writing. I write with this frenzy to get the thoughts down. I'm so afraid I'm going to forget something. In this process my students have learned to be my editors. I often find that they are really thorough when it comes to reviewing my writing and I am often pleasantly surprised that they own what’s being taught. I just wish that they would be as thorough with their writing as they are with mine.

    Do you have any tips that work well in your classroom? Please share!

     

    The workshop model is based on the philosophy of the teacher being the facilitator. I teach (teacher demonstrates/models mini-lesson), we do (students practice the strategy with the teacher or with each other), and then you do (releasing the student to work independently). I am very comfortable with this model. My students have the opportunity to try out skills I taught with their literacy partners. While they are working in their partnerships, I can quickly assess through partner talks who will need my help when I release them to work independently. This allows for those who did not need my direct instruction to go off and work, while I re-teach a skill to those who may have struggled.

    The Writing Process

    The writing process has about five steps. The steps may have different labels such as:

    • Planning, Drafting, Revising, Editing, Publishing

    • Outline, Draft, Revise, Edit, Publish

    • Pre-Writing, Drafting, Revision, Editing, Publish

    For those who are using the Teacher’s College (TCRWP) format, there are some differences. That process is:

    • Immersion, Gathering Entries, Choosing a Seed Idea, Developing the Seed Idea, Drafting, Revising, Publishing, Celebration

    No matter which process you use, the common denominators throughout take you from drafting to publishing. There may be different labels, but the process and end result are the same: students must create a genre-specific writing piece with proficiency. 

     

    Fitting In Grammar

    There has been more than one occasion during my department meetings with my colleagues where we discuss the units of study. One of the” hot topics” that always leads to very engaging conversation is grammar. My colleagues and I are constantly on a quest to find the best way to integrate grammar into writing workshop. There is a school of thought that you should not teach grammar in writing workshop until the editing process. I think it would be impossible however, to teach all the rules of grammar if grammar were only taught at that point.

    So where and how to maximize literacy instruction to include grammar is the burning question. I am still in search mode, but have found these to be extremely helpful:

    Student Writing Conferences — This is where you can differentiate instruction to meet the student’s needs using their own writing. I use my student’s notebooks to get a sense of what I need to coach during conferencing. Take a look at my post on "Creating a Reader's/Writer's Toolkit" and then the one on using the toolkit to know what resources you should have accessible at a moment’s notice. If I notice that a majority of my students are having struggles with the same grammatical concept, it becomes a lesson for the entire class.

      

    Sample resources I use during conferring.

    Anchor Charts — A well-placed anchor chart reinforces instruction and promotes independence amongst my students. There are some anchor charts that can live in the classroom all year and there are some that are unit-specific. My students are encouraged to refer to the charts for guidance.

     

    This lives in my classroom for each writing unit.

     

      

    I borrowed this eye-catching chart from Chelsea Kimmel, who also teaches sixth grade in my building. It reinforces grammar rules and is a great resource for students to tap into without me having to re-teach. What a time saver!
     

    Writing Center Resources — Students are able to access materials from the writing center as needed. The materials range from dictionaries, thesaurus, student writing samples, mentor texts, and our latest addition: bulletin board aids. 

                                                   
     

    Writing Partners — Students are given an opportunity to work with their partners to improve their writing as well as to assist one another. This process is an invaluable tool as there are some students who learn better from their peers.

    My students are my writing partners. They get to observe my style/method of writing. I must admit, it is not pretty when I'm writing. I write with this frenzy to get the thoughts down. I'm so afraid I'm going to forget something. In this process my students have learned to be my editors. I often find that they are really thorough when it comes to reviewing my writing and I am often pleasantly surprised that they own what’s being taught. I just wish that they would be as thorough with their writing as they are with mine.

    Do you have any tips that work well in your classroom? Please share!

     

Comments

Share your ideas about this article

Rhonda's Most Recent Posts
Blog Post
New Teachers: Getting Started
With guidance and support, it's possible to make the first year of teaching a great learning experience. Here are some practical tips to help any new teacher "thrive" in their first year.
By Rhonda Stewart
July 9, 2018
Blog Post
My Summer Book List: Read Now, Discuss in September
As usual, my summer reading list comes from student and colleague recommendations. But this year, I also looked at my classroom library to see what books might need a little extra promoting to land into the hands of a reader.
By Rhonda Stewart
May 21, 2018
Blog Post
Middle School Literacy Centers

Literacy centers not only build upon and reinforce the lessons taught, but also enable students to take "ownership" of their learning. Read on for ideas on why and how to make learning centers a part of your middle school classroom.

By Rhonda Stewart
November 1, 2016
Blog Post
Celebrating Dr. King's Legacy

This unit on MLK and social issues brings to light that there are other concerns going on in the world and that one person can make a difference regardless of age, gender, or nationality.

By Rhonda Stewart
May 27, 2016
Blog Post
End-of-School-Year Activities

Are you at a loss of ideas for things to do as the school year begins to wind down? Are you looking for ways to keep your students engaged as they dream about summer? Here are some suggestions that are sure to help with end-of-school fever.

By Rhonda Stewart
May 20, 2016
Blog Post
Creating End-of-the-Year Student Certificates

As the end of the school year approaches, are you planning a special assembly to celebrate the accomplishments of your students? See how one group of teachers decided to mix things up and create some fun certificates for the end of the year.

By Rhonda Stewart
May 6, 2016

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
About Us