Writing Workshop is a method of writing instruction developed by Lucy Calkins and educators involved in the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University in New York City, New York (Calkins, L (2006). A Guide to The Writing Workshop, Grades 3-5. Portsmouth, NH: First Hand). This method of instruction focuses on the goal of fostering lifelong writers. It is based upon four principles; students will write about their own lives, they will use a consistent writing process, they will work in authentic ways, and the process will foster independence in them.
Writing Workshop is used in all grade levels. Each grade level has specific units of study tailored to meet developmental and curricular needs and that are aligned to our Common Core State Standards. Students have a large amount of choice in their topic and style of writing but spend time in and learn about each of the three kinds of writing: information, opinion, and narrative. The teacher acts as a mentor author, modeling writing techniques and conferring with students as they move through the writing process. Direct writing instruction takes place in the form of a mini-lesson at the beginning of each workshop and is followed by a minimum of 45 minutes of active writing time. Each workshop ends with a sharing of student work.