morning meeting share · scaffolding charts · sharing · writing workshop

Sharing in Writing Workshop

I just received a mailing from my school over the weekend with our summer professional reading. There’s an excerpt from The Art of Teaching Reading, as well as a copy of Leah Mermelstein‘s book Don’t Forget to Share: The Crucial Last Step in the Writing Workshop. I’ll probably start the book later this week, but, just like I always do, I flipped through it this morning to see what it was all about. It’s pretty short, but seems to be full of useful ideas about process, craft, progress, content, and editing sharing.

Since many of my students often struggle with making meaningful, constructive comments on their peers’ writing, my eyes got stuck on page 95 of Mermelstein‘s Book. Pages 95 – 97 contain lists of prompts that kids can use when they comment on a peer’s writing. I can see myself creating scaffolding charts, for use in the early fall, to help model the phrases children can use to comment on their peer’s work. Further, I think some of these prompts can be carried over into Morning Meeting Share Times when a child takes “Questions or Comments” at the end of his/her share.

5 thoughts on “Sharing in Writing Workshop

  1. linda christensen wrote a really helpful article (included in Reading, Writing and Rising Up) on how she works with her students to create a safe space for sharing w.i.p.’s and ideas. i appreciate her emphasis on having students listen carefully and jot down not only what they enjoyed about a peer’s piece, but what they might want to try themselves.

    instead of just sharing to share (which is great by itself), the read-around becomes a time to listen for new ideas, too, and to learn from one another in a substantive way.


  2. Liza:

    I’m about 2/3 of the way through Mermelstein’s Book. It’s totally fantastic. It’s not just about using prompts like I thought I could do. I’m realizing now that it’s about heavy scaffolding with regard to sharing in the beginning of the school year prior to really getting sharing time(s) to function like a well-oiled machine.

    I’ll write more about it when I have a few moments.



  3. I looked at the sample chapter and it looks like a great book. The sharing aspect is difficult. As teachers, we can struggle to be supportive and still critical about student writing. How much harder is it for other students? I love the idea of a list that can be taught to students so they know what to say and how to say it.


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