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It sounds like ...
Old 12-23-2005, 05:30 PM
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you are very frustrated and are accustomed to a pretty different way of teaching your students how to write.

That being said, I wonder if you aren't giving the writing workshop model a fair chance because you're too hung up on what you're comfortable with and felt worked just fine.

I say this with some Calkins WW experience. We are currently using it this year for the first time, and while we have some less-than-gratuitous observations of it, we really like it on other levels.

I do think the mini-lessons and anchor books work well. You don't have to do EXACTLY what LC says - use your own knowledge of teaching and your students and fit the model to complement it. You can definitely teach skills through mini-lessons.

I especially like that the WW workshop doesn't stress fictional writing in the primary grades. I used to think kids had to write good fiction to be a good writer, that personal narratives didn't really demonstrate their writing skills. I now know very differently! I LOVE reading their stories about their own lives, their experiences, their families, their friends, everything!

Ask yourself if maybe you aren't giving this your best shot. You might open up more to it and make it work for your students.

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