Does the Writing Workshop Still Work? (New Writing Viewpoints, Volume 5)

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Teaching argument for critical thinking and writing: An introduction. English Journal , 99 6 , Newell, G. Teaching and learning argumentative reading and writing: A review of research. Reading Research Quarterly, 46 3 , The TCRWP curriculum across all areas fully embraces the research on the importance of teaching argument and places a strong emphasis on teaching students how to engage in argumentation and compose and evaluate arguments. Through the learning of this group, in addition to advanced summer institute sections and study groups, the TCRWP developed argument protocols for arguing about texts as well as ways to weave argumentation across the curriculum.

In , the TCRWP held its first annual Argumentation Institute, where hundreds of participants came together to hone their argument reading and writing skills in order to launch and sustain the work in their classrooms. As early as Kindergarten, students craft petitions, letters, and signs to tackle problems faced in their classroom, school, and even the world.

As students move across the grades, the TCRWP writing curriculum extends their work with argument, providing students with multiple opportunities to engage in argument writing so they can develop a host of skills, which will empower them to take a stance and convince others to join their side. By the time they reach the upper grades, students ramp up their work in argument by writing research-based argument essays in which they lift the level of their work, in line with the CCSS, learning how to consider different perspectives, and crafting powerful arguments based on carefully selected evidence, analysis, and rebuttal of counter-claims.

The TCRWP has designed an argument writing curriculum that is grade-specific and positions students to progress along a path of development acquiring the essential argument skills needed, not just for college and career readiness, but to prepare students to be involved citizens who want to play a role in making the world a better place. We have also brought argument into the content areas, encouraging students to debates issues in science and to analyze informational texts, historical documents, and pictures to debate, for example, whether Columbus was a hero or villain.

In all of our argumentation work, there is a focus on debate and dialog as a way of rehearsing and developing the ability to engage in written argument. This emphasis is supported by research. There is a specific research base which holds that oral argumentation and dialog supports students being able to develop written arguments see, for example, Kuhn, ; Graff, ; Kuhn, Debating and engaging in argumentation with peers directly supports individual writing of arguments.

Please see the following sources for further consideration of dialog and debate supporting the development of written argument:. Felton, M. Graff, G. Clueless in academe: How schooling obscures the life of the mind. Kuhn, D. Bronxville, NY: Wessex, Inc. McCann, T. Gateways to writing logical arguments. Song, Y. Our work with schools reflects our recognition of the need to raise the level of vocabulary instruction in classrooms. In our work, we have found that teachers who create print rich classrooms, provide multiple opportunities for reading and writing, and create opportunities for multiple interactions with vocabulary across their day support children in developing their knowledge of vocabulary.

The TCRWP places a strong emphasis on talk to support student learning and embeds talk into most of their teaching structures from mini-lessons, to reading and writing partnerships, book clubs, to whole class conversations around texts read aloud.

It is clear that the TCRWP values talk, not just as a way to build vocabulary, but to support overall learning. Please reference this and other resources below for additional support on how to boost vocabulary for all learners. Beck, I. Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. Guilford Press. Brassell, D. Dare to differentiate: Vocabulary strategies for all students. Guilford Publications. Common Core Standards Initiative, Vocabulary acquisition from listening to stories. Reading Research Quarterly , 24, — Word wise and content rich, grades 7— Moses, A.

Stahl, S. The effects of vocabulary instruction: A model-based meta-analysis. Review of educational research, 56 1 , The role of inadequate print exposure as a determinant of reading comprehension problems. Reading comprehension difficulties: Processes and intervention, Wilfong, L.

The structures of workshop teaching calls for teachers to adapt a responsive stance to instruction, taking their cues from children and planning instruction that articulates next steps or goals that address their needs. The TCRWP has also found the UDL Universal Design for Learning framework to be an excellent tool for supporting teachers in designing instruction that provides access to the curriculum for all learners.

All of the principles of UDL such as utilizing different methods to teach students, giving them access to different digital tools or supports to express their learning, and engaging students through providing opportunities for choice and self-assessment to engage students are just a few examples of where workshop teaching and principles of UDL intersect. For example, this coming year, the community will learn with Dr.

William Bursuck , and Co-Teach! In addition, the Project will offer several other conference days specifically designed to support the teaching of children with IEPs, including collaborating with service providers, developing data-based toolkits, and preparing children for the demands of state exams.

Small group work and conferring are what a teacher spends a bulk of the workshop time engaged in, which provides the teacher with multiple opportunities to personalize instruction. The routines and structures of a workshop are kept simple and predictable, as mentioned, so that the teacher can focus on the complex work of teaching in a responsive manner to accelerate achievement for all learners.

Also, the volume of student writing increased with students producing more in the time allotted. The learning progressions and student facing checklists are important tools that promote self-assessment and goal setting so that instruction is tailored to each individual learner. Look below for additional references that speak to supporting all learners in accessing the curriculum.


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We also want to note that some of the studies which we referenced in other categories included studying populations of students who were considered part of the special education population. We encourage you to also refer to these studies for more information about how the curriculum offers access to all learners:. Brand, S. Oxford Round Table.

Dalton, B. Reading as thinking: Integrating strategy instruction in a universally designed digital literacy environment. Reading comprehension strategies: Theories, interventions, and technologies, Ford, M. Graham, S. Writing and writing instruction for students with learning disabilities: Review of a research program.

Learning Disability Quarterly, 14 2 , Perkins, J. Addressing the literacy needs of striving readers. Proctor, C. Scaffolding English language learners and struggling readers in a universal literacy environment with embedded strategy instruction and vocabulary support. Journal of Literacy Research, 39 1 , Radencich, M.

Keeping flexible groups flexible: Grouping options. Flexible grouping for literacy in the elementary grades , Schunk, D. Goal setting and self-efficacy during self-regulated learning. Educational Psychologist, 25 , TCRWP classrooms as mentioned, are structured in ways that are predictable and this is especially supportive for students who are developing English—emergent bilinguals. With clear, predictable structures, children become more comfortable participating.

The predictability of the workshop provides reassurance to a child who is just learning English, and this is amplified if workshop structures repeat themselves across subjects. In addition, workshops are characterized by a consistent instructional language, making it easier for a child who is just learning English to grasp the unique content that is being taught that day. The workshop gives language learners not only a space for language learning but a place to practice.

Each day, where a child is advanced her knowledge of the English language or an beginning speaker or else on the progression of language learning , that child will have the opportunity to work on language skills in addition to skills in reading, writing, etc. English Language Learners need to expand both their receptive language skills—their listening and reading—as well as their expressive language skills—their speaking and writing.

The workshop provides a place where these skills can be practiced. The workshop is structured to allow for individualized instruction but for English Language Learners, this instruction must consider not only their literacy skills but also their language development. The TCRWP encourages teachers to collect language samples both written and oral from students and study these to identify and plan next steps for the learner. There is no such thing as the English Language Learner.

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Each child has unique strengths and needs. In her article for Principal , in which she synthesized and reported on the results of reviews of research concerning instruction for English Language Learners, Protheroe asserts that there are three key findings worth noting: 1. Interventions which work for other students have a somewhat weaker effect on ELLs. Therefore, instructional strategies are needed which specifically support the needs of ELLs.

Grouping strategies, text selection, and specific activities to scaffold instruction e. Moreover, the emphases reported across the case study schools on teachers knowing their students well and documenting student progress was to provide the bases for matching instructional strategies to the needs of specific children at specific points in their development. Although, Day does note these potential benefits of a balanced literacy approach to support English Language Learners, she also cautions that teachers need to develop and strengthen their own knowledge base in specific areas in order to specifically address the needs of their ELLs within the model.

In addition to on site development in schools, conference days are offered at Teachers College for teachers to attend to hear about working with and supporting English Language Learners. A cadre of teachers and teacher-leaders with special expertise in working with students who are learning English will join senior leaders and other members of the TCRWP community to share ideas and resources designed to best help students who are learning English within our reading and writing workshops.

The information and insights learned will then be shared with the Project community at large. Calkins, L. Supporting English Learners pp. Celic, C. English language learners day by day, K A complete guide to literacy, content-area, and language instruction. Cummins, J. ELL students speak for themselves: Identity texts and literacy engagement in multilingual classrooms.

Educational Leadership Journal. Fillmore, L. Freeman, D. Academic language for struggling readers and English language learners. Gibbons, P. English learners, academic language, and thinking: Learning in the challenge. Scaffolding language, scaffolding learning: Teaching second language learners in the mainstream classroom. Lenski, S. The Reading Teacher, 60 1 , Lesaux, N. Addressing variability and vulnerability: Promoting the academic achievement of English learners.

Hess Ed. English Language Learners in a balanced literacy approach. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 14 1 , Protheroe, N. Effective instruction for English-Language Learners. Principal, 90 3 , Swinney, R. Connecting content and academic language for English learners and struggling students grades Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. This resources describes ways that ELLs are supported in workshop see pages 55, 77, In reading, there are two intertwined progressions, one in reading literature and one in reading informational texts.

There is research that suggests that the use of performance assessments that are embedded into curriculum can support building higher-order complex skills and can improve instruction Goldschmidt et al. In addition to the body of research on performance assessments, there is growing body of research supporting the use of learning progressions to guide and raise the level of instruction. Research has demonstrated that learning progressions have important potential for educators, policy makers, curriculum and assessment designers, etc. Multiple policy documents and research reports published recently see, for example Daro, Mosher, Corcoran, ; Corcoran, Mosher, and Rogat, ; Mosher, related to learning progressions, argue that the development of the Common Core State Standards have created a strong need for learning progressions.

In order for students to have hope of meeting these standards, teachers will need to monitor student progress and know when and how to intervene to support students in reaching the standards. They will need to be aware of when students are encountering difficulty in working to reach these standards and of how to support students in getting back on track.

Learning progressions, as research-based maps or pathways, can help offer that sense of where to go next. To read more about the potential of learning progressions, here are some of the policy documents and research reports we recommend reading:. Corcoran, T. Daro, P. Mosher, F. The role of learning progressions in standards-based education reform.

National Research Council Taking science to school: Learning and teaching science in grades K Committee on Science Learning, Kindergarten through eighth grade. Duschl, H. Shouse Eds. TCRWP workshops have the same characteristic structure. Workshops are deliberately kept simple and predictable. The structure of the workshop allows for students to take ownership over their work and in addition, these predictable workshop structures allow for teachers to engage in the work which is really the heart of the workshop—conferring and small group work— intimate, intensive, responsive teaching of groups and individuals.

For any learner to grow stronger, that learner must be provided with informative, responsive targeted feedback. The feedback is especially valuable if the teacher helps the learner know where he is going, what progress he has made so far, and what specific activities he can do next to progress toward the goal.

Ideally, learners also receive help in refining and seeking more challenging goals. The TCRWP recognizes that different kinds of small group work offer teachers opportunities to make their instruction more effective, but also more efficient grouping for a time students with similar needs, and tailoring support to meet those needs. The whole-goal of small group instruction is responsiveness.

Teachers can tailor their instruction to what a group of students needs, rather than to the whole class. From guided reading groups to supporting readers in transitioning to new levels of text complexity, to strategy lessons on accountable talk, to extending the work around a writing goal, to coaching book clubs and so many other methods and purposes, small group instruction allows the opportunity for the classroom teacher to be responsive to what students need.

Teachers who we work with are encouraged to be flexible in their approach to small group work recognizing we are teaching a class of individual readers — with varied strengths, needs and goals.

Does the Writing Workshop Still Work? (New Writing Viewpoints, Volume 5) (ebook)

There is strong research to support the effectiveness of small group instruction in promoting achievement. There are several references below, but also be sure to reference other categories in this document, such as providing access for all readers, working will ELLs and comprehension strategy instruction, which further confirm the effectiveness of small group instruction.

Denton, C. Elbaum, B. How effective are one-to-one tutoring programs in reading for elementary students at risk for reading failure? A meta-analysis of the intervention research. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92 4 , The nature of effective first-grade literacy instruction. Learning and Instruction , 19 3 , — Swanson, H.

Experimental intervention research on students with learning disabilities: A meta-analysis of treatment outcomes. Review of Educational Research , 68 3 , Taylor, B. Effective schools and accomplished teachers: Lessons about primary-grade reading instruction in low-income schools. The Elementary School … , 2 , — Vaughn, S. Intervention in School and Clinic, 36 3 , — There was even evidence that they were able to transfer the strategies learned to other contexts. Rather, the most effective teachers only present small amounts of new material at any time, and then assist the students as they practice this material.

This harmonizes with our approach in which that students learning is scaffolded providing the student with just the right amount of support to experience success with less support over time moving students toward independence with the skill or strategy. This practice is evident in our minilessons during the active involvement the part of the minilessons where students are practicing what the teacher modeled or demonstrated, and the teacher is coaching into their work, providing explicit feedback and support.

This is also true for individual conferences and small groups where students have opportunities to practice what was taught, receiving feedback on their work to provided support when needed. It is a common practice in TCRWP classrooms to find teachers engaged in brief periods of explicit instruction, demonstrating the practices and habits of reading and writing as a model for students to follow.

During a minilesson, conference or while teaching a small group in reading or writing workshop, or while reading aloud, a teacher is apt to pause in the midst of the act, and make their thinking visible to the students to model the active use of the strategy and skill. The teacher often debriefs following the think aloud to name out the steps of the strategy so that students are able to see that the steps are replicable and can be applied to their own reading and writing work.

While there are multiple methods to draw on in our teaching, a method that teachers tend to access when introducing a new skill or strategy that requires a good deal of scaffolding is demonstration. After learning how to craft explicit teaching points, teachers will spend a good deal of time practicing a demonstration of the skill in order to make the invisible mind work of reading transparent.

For further discussion and research around the effectiveness of demonstration as method of teaching, which scaffolds students toward greater independence with learned skills and strategies, here are some of the sources we recommend reading:. Phi Delta Kappan, 83 10 , Berkeley, S. Reading comprehension strategy instruction and attribution retraining for secondary students with learning and other mild disabilities.

Journal of Learning Disabilities, 44 1 , Hoffman, J. Balancing principles for teaching elementary reading. Better learning through structured teaching: A framework for the gradual release of responsibility. Palincsar, A. Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and monitoring activities.

Cognition and Instruction , 1, Rosenshine, B. Principles of instruction: Research-based strategies that all teachers should know. American Educator, 36 1 , Rupley, W. Looking inside classrooms: Reflecting on the" how" as well as the" what" in effective reading instruction. Our organization prides itself on being a learning community focused on reflecting on, and refining our own best thinking and learning around best practices to support literacy achievement.

But initiating and sustaining the concept requires hard work. The TCRWP works hard to help teachers create this culture of collaboration in their buildings through on-site staff development, individualizing coaching, assessment-based feedback, implementing research-based practices, and working together with students, teachers, building leaders, and schools to ensure that each individual in the building is at the top of their learning curve. Following the labsite, teachers meet in study groups to debrief and engage in professional conversations around the shared experience to provide each other with feedback, and discuss goals and next steps for themselves, their grade levels along with implications for the work across the school.

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Principals and other building leaders often participate in these experiences to make their own learning public in effort to communicate to their teachers that the school is focused on the learning of all. Participation also allows building leaders to assess how the work is progressing across the school and determine next steps in terms of professional development. All of these structures are designed to support teacher education and schools as communities of practice.

Below are sources that demonstrate the importance of turning schools into learning communities to support student growth and achievement. Barth, Roland S. Improving Relationships Inside the Schoolhouse. Educational Leadership, 63 , 8 - Duffy, G. In pursuit of an illusion: The flawed search for a perfect method. The Reading Teacher, DuFour, R. What is a" professional learning community"?. Educational leadership, 61 8 , Devlin-Scherer, W.

The effects of collaborative teacher study groups and principal coaching on individual teacher change. Journal of Classroom Interaction , 32, Fang, Z. In Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century pp. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Fullan, M. The principal: Three keys to maximizing impact. Garet, M. What Makes Professional Development Effective? Results From a National Sample of Teachers. American Educational Research Journal. Grodsky, E. Hargreaves, A. Little and M. McLaughlin Eds.

New York: Teachers College Press. Sustainable leadership Vol. Harris, A. Effective leadership for school improvement. Little, J. Professional community and professional development in the learning-centered school. Teacher learning that matters: International perspectives, Mitchell, C. Profound improvement: Building capacity for a learning community. Musanti, S. Collaboration and teacher development: Unpacking resistance, constructing knowledge, and navigating identities. Teacher Education Quarterly , Showers, B.

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The evolution of peer coaching. Educational leadership , 53, Swafford, J. Teachers supporting teachers through peer coaching. Support for Learning , 13 2 , Reading growth in high-poverty classrooms: The influence of teacher practices that encourage cognitive engagement in literacy learning. The Elementary School, 1 , 3— Turning children into readers through an emphasis on a high volume of high-success, high- interest reading: TCRWP reading instruction relies on research that shows that kids need to read a lot of texts, with high comprehension, in order to move up levels of text complexity.

The following are some of the sources we recommend consulting to learn more about the research in this area: Allington, R. Supporting students in building a knowledge-base through nonfiction reading The TCRWP curriculum is designed in alignment with the research base on students reading to learn to gain knowledge. For more information about students reading nonfiction to gain knowledge, these are some of the sources we recommend reading: Anderson, J. Teaching comprehension skills and strategies to support reading achievement One of the principles that inform the TCRWP Units of Study for Teaching Reading, is a strong emphasis on students gaining the practices and skills of reading comprehension, and encouraging teachers to model the strategies that will help their students to acquire and draw on a repertoire of skills.

Elementary School Journal Dole, J. Emphasizing the Value of Interactive Read Aloud Reading aloud is the best way we have to immerse children in the glories of reading, showing both how and why one reads. Please refer to the citations below for further research that supports these practices. Other great sources which offer teaching support for this work: Kesler, T. Read it again! Revisiting shared reading. York, ME: Stenhouse. Turning students into writers through an emphasis on a high volume of writing and daily protected writing time in which to engage in the writing process As with reading, the TCRWP advocates for long stretches of time where students are engaged in the act of writing at least four days a week for 45 minutes or longer each day.

In the Middle , 2nd ed. The Art of Teaching Writing , 2nd ed. Graves, D. Writing: Teachers and Children at Work. A Fresh Look at Writing. Murray, D. She lives on a farm in Surrey. A Perfect Explanation is her debut novel. Jenny is the Director of Andrew Nurnberg Agency. All workshops in this session will feature a minute Genre Talk with literary agents and the speakers. Sam is the co-director of the award-winning independent publisher Galley Beggar Press.

He writes about books for The Guardian and he is the author of several non-fiction titles such as Enemies Of The People and the best-selling Crap Towns series. Davinia runs Andlyn, a boutique agency dedicated to finding storytellers whose material can not only exist on the page but can also find an outlet through other media territories. Irresistible beginnings and Happy Endings with Cathy Bramley.

Don your posh frocks and suits for reception drinks and a three-course dinner. Finish your Festival on a high, with a further three workshop sessions, a panel, a keynote and one-to-ones. Join a panel of industry experts as we look into the future of the publishing industry and what that means for writers. Chaired by Harry Bingham. Self-Publishing with Harry Bingham. Breaking the Rules with Debi Alper.

Story Structure from Pixar with Julie Cohen. Julie novels have sold over a million copies and twice been selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. Creating an Engaging Voice with Amanda Berriman. Amanda was born in Germany and grew up in Edinburgh, reading books, playing music, writing stories and climbing hills. She works as a primary school teacher and lives on the edge of the Peak District with her husband, two children and dogs.

Her debut novel Home was published last year by Transworld. Four Act Structure with Allie Spencer. Using Empathy to enhance your descriptions with Jo Cotterill. Jo is an award-winning writer who has published over forty books for children and young people. Anastasia , pen name Primula Bond, is the author of erotic romance novels. The Thriving Author with Melissa Addey. Melissa started her career in business and is now a fulltime author of historical fiction.

Advanced Characterisation with James Law. Hamilton and Naomi Novik. Dave lives in Dublin, where he writes historical novels and science fiction. She represents a wide-ranging list of fiction and non-fiction. Merchandise for Authors with Melissa Addey. The Art of the Rewrite with Julie Cohen.


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  • Facing The Fear with Debi Alper. How to Hook an Agent with Kate Evans. Kate is the Publisher of Agora Books and an Agent representing journalism and a small list of non-fiction. Every year, we end the Festival with an inspirational story in the hope that this will drive you to keep writing throughout the year. Joanna Cannon left The Festival of Writing with seven offers of representation from literary agents. Agent submission builder Get an agent in one hour.

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    Festival Programme Take a closer look at the workshops, keynotes and special events taking place at the Festival this year. Build your own Festival…. Book your ticket now. Mini-courses explained. NEW to — Book labs. Workshops explained. Friday Saturday Sunday. Continental and full-English options available. Choose your favourite: Fast Fiction with Jo Cotterill. Your free gifts Agent submission builder Get an agent in one hour Indie marketing masterclass A self-publishing essential How to write a novel Your free, expert tutorials Join the list, get your gifts.

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