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Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

I like writer's workshop

October 9, 2007

I like writer's workshop.

There. I said it! I like writer's workshop. It's like a confession for me...someone who has spent a lot of time thinking about things like density of instructional time, explicit instruction in skills-based groups, and more. But, I'll say it again: I like writer's workshop. Good 'ol time to sit and think and write.

I've watched both my girls absolutely flourish when given the opportunity to write, share, and publish. Both started off tentatively and complaining that they didn't have anything to write about. And then, it clicked.

It's REALLY clicked with Anna, who has been heard this week to say, "I'll be right there, just let me finish this story," "Here Mommy, I wrote your grocery list for you," and perhaps my favorite, "Here's my story Mom. But look out — there's a scary part in there!"

Wow. My 5 year old has found her voice. And it's just beautiful!

Click to read Anna's story.

Want to watch teachers in action and hear Barbara Foorman talk about writer's workshop? It's here.


Thanks for asking! I'm always willing to spend another minute or two gushing over one of my kids' writing. Here's her story, interpreted:(page 1)Here I am standing in a tentSuddenly (sodetle!) I heard a big pop(page 2)It was a monster!AHHHHH I screamedIt was a big monster(page 3)It had a big green headand spikes (sbix)(page 4)And it was all green spikes(page 5, perhaps my favorite page)But I was not afraidAs for the lined/unlined paper, we've got both in our writing/art area and Anna chooses the unlined paper pretty consistently. Sometimes she'll anchor her writing by drawing lines across the bottom of the page, but other times she writes free form. Kids writing is amazing, isn't it? Stay tuned - Reading Rockets has a terrific webcast on writing scheduled for February 2008.

That's so adorable! Would you be willing to provide a full interpretation? I got most of it. But I'm dying to know what "sodetle" is!What's the thought behind using unlined paper for this?

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"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." — Emilie Buchwald