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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,894
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,894
Senior Member
Writer’s workshop question as a parent/teacher
Old 09-11-2020, 10:00 PM
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My daughter is doing full time virtual school right now, everyone in the district etc.

They use Writer’s Workshop. Her teacher originally said students should be able to “plan” & write 1 story per day. She has later retracted it to a story in 1-2 days. This is with her saying writing at least 20 minutes per day. I’m just wondering if this is typical in Writer’s Workshop? I believe students are all different levels with different abilities. Some will write stories faster and longer than others. I just feel it’s like the teacher’s mindset, one size fits all.

So my daughter is a somewhat lower student(at least compared to many advanced students at her somewhat affluent school). Depending on how much she writes for each page of the story, & how detailed she is, and also how good her planning sketches are, it can take her longer to write a story. This is with her writing usually Longer than 20 minutes even. One story was very good, very detailed, very long with great took 5 days to plan and write. It was a topic she was really into, so her story was longer. And the sketches were good(usually her drawings are not that developed). The next week she wrote a long story in 2.5 days.(simple sketches) She planned and wrote a shorter story(just 1 to 3 sentences per page) with really simple sketches in 1.5 days. Simple meaning it looks like stick figures with little kid drawings(almost scribbles, each pic almost looks exactly the same etc).

My daughter has anxiety and I don’t want to pressure her to work faster. She’s working as quickly as she can for her quality work. Of course spelling & periods etc for her is atrocious and the teacher says not to help correct anything until later... In kindergarten she had major writers block and barely wrote anything..(like sometimes just a word or a sentence).... I did work with her a lot at home to try to get some finished pieces or practice writing etc.. so I do think she’s behind developmentally in writing. In first grade she grew in her writing....grew out of the writers block(at first would only pick the same topic every time in narrative) & now the ideas and writing flow to her well. I helped her last year with distance learning to add transition words etc.

However I just really disagree with this teacher’s repeated statements that students should have a story planned & written daily or every 1-2 days. (They are required to do touch & tell, sketching, key words etc for planning first). In 20 minutes (or over)she can get her planning done....maybe start a first page. Sometimes only 3 out 4 pages planned. Then it takes a day or two to write the story.

I just believe it’s going to vary by how long/detailed the kid wants to be and how into their story the kid is. Vary by the topic etc. Also some kids work faster, others slower. Some kids are much more advanced students as well who are going to bust out a story quickly. (And yes my DD had an SST in kinder for writing/speech/anxiety concerns that I requested and they said nothing was wrong, just maybe slower with learning/achieving/reaching milestones.)

I’d like to say something politely to the teacher about this expectation. She has a survey she put out about virtual learning. Should I mention it? I would hope if she understood my DD’s background She’d realize my daughter is writing at her ability/pace as best as she can! Also I used to teach second & third grade and I know it’s not one size fits all and not all kids are going to finish writing pieces at the same pace as other kids...... This teacher’s expectation is just really bothering me. My daughter wrote 3 stories in 9 days. If you go off the teacher’s expectation she should have 5-9 stories. Unrealistic for my daughter.

Last edited by basketball777; 09-11-2020 at 11:20 PM..
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