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My school is putting together pertinent lessons for the first few weeks of school to make launching Reading and Writing Workshop more succinct. So for the past few weeks I’ve been considering the most important procedures to ensure a solid Writing Workshop. I believe procedures will make or break Writing Workshop. So, I’m wondering, what do you consider the most important Workshop procedures you’ve established in your classroom? When you share will you include your procedures and grade level?


procedures, routines

Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

6 thoughts on “Procedures Leave a comment

  1. “WHAT DOES ‘NO WALK, NO TALK’ MEAN TO YOU?!?!?!?” That’s what I’d like to scream (I mean, say) to my kids. J/k.

    But seriously, reinforcing “no walk/no talk” time from the very start helps me more than anything. Go grade 2!!


  2. I’ve taught 2nd and 3rd grade. First time commenter…long-time reader. 🙂

    Good question…there’s so much that goes into establishing our workshops. Here’s my take on the most important procedures:

    1. “When you’re done, you’ve only just begun.” Establishing an expectation of what to do when you’ve finished a writing piece.

    2. Conferring: Expectations not only for the writer that the teacher is conferring with but also expectations for the other students who may want the teacher’s attention.

    3. Accessing writing materials (in 2nd grade: more writing paper, revising flaps, pens, etc) (in 3rd grade: mentor texts, dictionaries, thesaruses(sp?), etc.)

    4. Being a strong writing partner (this is something I need to work on-building partnerships).

    But none of these routines matter if you don’t create a workshop where your students see themselves as writers, love writing, and see their workshop time as precious. It’s difficult to describe how to create that.


  3. I start with “free writing” for a few days (even 2 weeks sometimes) so they will know this is the fall-back plan if they happen to finish before others in the class. If someone has published something in the current unit of study, I want them to know that they can then write what they want to write. I establish this routine be completing mind/heart maps, brainstorming lists of interests, introducing the writer’s notebook.

    I am using writing binders this year, with sections for work in progress, ideas, personal dictionary, extra paper. I worked hard to establish the proper way to keep ones work organized so work could begin promptly at the beginning of a writing session.

    When I am “editing” for students, I want them to find their own mistakes. I put a checkmark in the margins on the same line as the mistake. If a word wall word has been misspelled, I write WW next to the check. This is something I work on establishing right away so that I can use it during quick checks, not just formal conferences and everyone knows what it means. I think it also helps them become more familiar with the word wall words. Further, I think it reminds them that I am holding them accountable for spelling, so don’t guess…look it up, or ask!

    I teach grades 3 and 4.


  4. I teach first grade. I use a combo revision/editing checklist. Early on I list it on a large sheet of chart paper and everyone tells me where they are in the process each day. Later each child staples a small version on the front of their rough draft booklet. They are expected to go through the checklist independently and only come to me when they think they have done all they can on their own. That does not mean they cannot ask me questions along the way but it does mean no formal conference until they think they are done. There has to be a peer conference before any child comes to see me.


  5. Like Traci, I think the most important procedure for writing workshop is how students move through their own writing process because that happens at a different pace for each student. I teach 8th grade and have been using Nancie Atwell’s Editing Checksheet for years. This year I introduced a Revising Checksheet using the same format and it helped tremendously. Every time a student turns in a piece of writing for my review it has a paper attached the front: Revising Checksheet for feedback on content and the way information is delivered can be used as many times as a student desires, Editing Checksheet for copy editing when a student thinks he/she is ready for a final draft, and once the piece is completed a Reflection Sheet is attached, which tells me the writing is ready for final feedback and will then be added to a student’s portfolio. This has helped me keep track of three different classes worth of writing at different stages of the process.


  6. I’ve taught first grade for the past 6 years. This year I’ve had my students sign-up according to what stage in the writing process they are in. 1-planning, 2- editing, 3- publising (writing then illustrating), 4- Book Covers. They know I only meet with students who are in the editing process. This has helped to encourage more independance on their part and I am able to better monitor the progress they make. My conferences are more focused and I’m not dealing with constant interruptions.


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