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ALL students have something to teach their classmates about writing.

There are lots of things to keep top-of-mind when you’re leading a writing workshop.  Are all students engaged?  Are they crafting pieces that hold meaning and value to them?  Are kids constantly adding writing strategies to their writing toolboxes?  The list could go on and on.

There is another question I want teachers I work with to ask. Are all students sharing their writing at the end of workshop?  When I say sharing, I’m not just talking about turning and talking with a writing partner and reading a paragraph of the writing to him/her.  What I have in mind is the type of share that happens when the whole class gathers in the meeting area at the end of workshop time.  Basically, a teaching share.  This is when you invite one, two, or even three students to share an aspect of their writing work with their peers at the front of the class.  (Often you invite students you conferred with or gathered for a strategy lesson that day or on the previous day.)

In her book, Don’t Forget to Share: The Crucial Last Step in the Writing Workshop, Leah Mermelstein suggests teachers select the people who will share their writing at the end of each writing workshop.  Mermelstein also suggests teachers provide students with the structure for the type of share, (i.e., craft, content, process, and progress) so young writers have a framework with which to work.  By varying the types of shares, it is possible to honor all of your students and show them that they have something they can teach their classmates about writing.

If you want to make sure all of your students are sharing their writing on a regular basis, consider tracking who shares and when.  You can do this on a classroom share chart tracker (The concept is similar to the Class Conferring Manifest that can be found in the appendix of Day by Day.)  I created a Student Share Tracker in Google Drive to help you get started. You can view it by clicking here.

For more about sharing during writing workshop, click here.

Stacey Shubitz View All

I am a literacy consultant who has spent over a decade working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grade K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.

I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).

3 thoughts on “ALL students have something to teach their classmates about writing. Leave a comment

  1. This is one of the great benefits of teaching writing online or using digital tools (such as Google docs). I love online writing workshop because it is so transparent – students see what I post as well as what others post and everything is there for everyone to see.

    I preach this line “All students have something to teach” to my students although many of them believe it is just a line that teachers say – I think the issue is their lack of confidence in themselves and specifically their wriiting. I blog about writing self-efficacy a lot, sorry it is a bit of a hobby horse for me. I’ve been using Pat Schneider’s Writing Alone and With Others with the teachers I work with. Really love it and I think you would as well.

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  2. Sharing is important in my class. I work with small groups, so it’s easier to let everyone have a chance. We have conversations about what we hear in the writing. They even give me advice about my own writing. We are also sharing across classes using kidblog.org. I find the action of typing leads to revision. The students have learned to give constructive comments that make them anxious to share more. I often hear, “Can I post this?” Music to my ears.

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