Writers’ Workshop and Readers’ Workshop:
What do they have in common?
- The emphasis is on creating a JOYFUL community of readers and writers.
- Independent practice is critical. Children learn to read by reading and write by writing.
- The workshop has a predictable structure. It begins with a focus lesson, followed by an independent work block, and wraps up with a group share.
- The focus lesson is a 15–20 minute period of explicit instruction in which the teacher will teach and then demonstrate or model a strategy or management routine, or draw attention to a particular literary element (in Readers’ Workshop) or crafting technique (in Writers’ Workshop). The focus lesson might be an extension of Shared Reading, Shared Writing, or Interactive Writing.
- Assessment informs instruction – the teacher plans focus lessons based on the students’ learning needs.
- While students are working independently, the teacher confers with individual students and/or teaches small group lessons.
- Students read and write every day. The length of time they work independently is gradually extended as they develop stamina.
- The workshop ends with a group share, during which the students reflect on the work that has been done during the period, explain how they used a particular strategy, or reflect on how they are developing as readers and writers.