Learning to Love, Loving to Learn

Writer's Workshop 2019-2020

Seisen News

Writer's Workshop 2019-2020
Sheila O'Donoghue

Writer's Workshop continued

Dear Kindergarten Parents/Guardians,

We are continuing to implement the Lucy Calkin’s Writer’s Workshop. We call it Writer’s Workshop because that is what “real” authors call their special writing time. Since our students are aspiring to become “real” authors, our lessons are taken directly from the Units of Study authored by Lucy Calkins and the Teacher’s College at the Columbia University. Our main goal is to teach your child to love to write and this can be just drawing for many of our students. The students also learn that their lives are worth writing about, and that they should care about what they write. Using the foundations of the curriculum, students will see that writing is a craft, and they will enjoy learning how to become better writers through hard work and practice.

As this is a phased in approach, we will be having structured time for three days on every cycle.The first 10 minutes there will be a mini-lesson, or direct teacher instruction. The focus will be learning about techniques and strategies that good writers use. After the mini-lesson students will have independent writing time where the students are allowed to choose the topic for their writing. By giving the students choices in their writing, it makes the writing more meaningful and engaging. Every child has their own story which makes it inclusive. While the students are writing the teacher will be meeting with individuals or small groups to conference with them about their writing and to encourage their growth as writers.

Students will learn to write, revise, edit, and publish stories throughout the school year. They will also begin to assess their writing and learn to implement the characteristics of quality writing into their own work.

Our focus Study Units for this school year are “narrative” and “informative” writing.

 As parents/guardians you can help your child by having discussions about these topics and prompting them to first get an idea. The more the children orally talk about their ideas, the easier it is for them to write about them at school. Talking is the first step to writing. Encourage them to have these oral experiences by asking them about the details of their stories. Instead of saying “I like the beach” we would like to prompt them to “ I like to go to the beach because I have so much fun making sandcastles and splashing in the water.”

Throughout the year, the students will be sharing some of their writing or drawings with you. Please never have your child fix any of the misspelled words or errors. This will all be done in good time in the classroom and it comes in the form of the above mentioned mini-lessons. We focus on fixing one thing at a time, so as not to overwhelm or discourage their already great efforts.Choose one or two things to give them positive feedback or praise on. Learning to write has many levels and we plan on making it as engaging as possible for the students. We will be having small writing ‘celebrations' throughout the year to honour each child’s progress.


We will be sharing information on a regular basis regarding the Lucy Calkin’s Writer’s Workshop and looking forward to working more closely with you all on our writing journey.

Major Components of Writer’s Workshop are:


  • Introduction/Read Aloud 

  • Mini-Lesson 

  • Independent Writing Time 

  • Conferencing

  • End-of-Workshop 

  • Share Assessment


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