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Getting Started with Writer's Workshop

Hello Kinder friends!  It's Heather here from Learning with Mrs. Langley and I am excited to be sharing with you today.

Do you teach Writer's Workshop?  Have you ever wondered how to get started?  This post is for you!  I've had a lot of questions lately about how I get my workshop started every year so today I will share with you! 

#1 Check out these authors!
I've witnessed teachers jumping into WW without any background. Writer's Workshop is centered around writer's choice, daily writing practice, and individual conferring from the teacher.  It's important to understand this before getting started.  Here are my a few of my favorite authors that keep me going. 

#2 Get ready with materials. 
Even before you teach your first mini lesson you will need to have some key materials ready to go.  I teach all of my mini lessons at an easel on large chart paper so at the beginning of the year I make sure I have plenty of chart paper ready.  
The students will be using notebooks so I like to make sure I have plastic folders they can keep their papers in.  I also keep a date stamp so we can stamp their page each day.  This is really fun to look back with parents at conferences and see what they were writing about on a certain day and also to document growth.

#3 Paper
I start out our Writer's Workshop routine at the beginning of the year with this paper: 
Plain and simple so we can focus on illustrations and telling a story through pictures.  We use this for at least the first 4-5 weeks before we start writing any words at the bottom to go with our story.  It's all about story telling in the beginning!
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#4 Resources
Many of your first mini lessons will be about using resources.  I include these resources in the back of the journals for students to use.  I don't add them until I teach the mini lesson.  It makes it more exciting for them to get something new! 
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#5 Mini Lessons
The HARDEST part about teaching writer's workshop for me has always been the lessons.  Where do I go next?  What do I teach first?  My favorite mini lesson ideas come from Jessica Meacham.  She has so many resources on her website and I get all of my mini lesson guidance from her.  You will not be disappointed, I promise. 

Another great resource is Busy Teacher's Cafe.  They have links to all kinds of resources.  I used this one a lot when I taught upper grades.

My favorite part of the day is Writer's Workshop.  Magical things happen when you sit back and let them write.  

"I am fighting a dragon and saving my girlfriend."

    They are so proud to share their stories during share time.  It's the very best part of the day!   Remember those colored folders we use as notebooks?  I schedule a different color every day to share, that way they always know when it's their turn.  They love to share!

Thanks so much for stopping by Kinder Tribe today.  It was so fun sharing with you today.  
Thank you! Heather



  1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas! I like the colored folders and sharing by color of their folder and giving them the helpful sheets each lesson.

  2. Great Post! I love the colored folder/sharing part! That's the hardest part to fit in during a half day session but soooo important!