Participation in a writer's workshop impacts students' enjoyment of writing and increases their ability to articulate their thoughts
In a traditional classroom, the teacher designs the curriculum and a finished piece of writing is of utmost importance. Learning is expected to be the same for all, and no differentiation is made for different learning styles. This research study and following paper explore constructivist ways to create enthusiasm and enjoyment in the writing process. Whereas avoiding mistakes in important in the traditional method, taking risks is valued as a sign of learning in a Writer's Workshop. Because writing is individual and unique, a Writer's Workshop format will increase students' ability to articulate their thoughts allowing them ownership will increase enjoyment. Research of current educational experts has shown that a Writer's Workshop is the best environment for students in which to learn to improve their writing. Through involvement in a Writer's Workshop, I hope students will be able to clearly articulate their thoughts and enjoy writing, making it a lifelong pursuit. The purpose of my study was to examine the effectiveness of a Writer's Workshop with senior high students. Most literature reviewed dealt with the success of this format on elementary and middle school students. I wanted to see if it could be used successfully with older students. My study consisted of running a Writer's Workshop with senior high students for one quarter using a mini-lesson, independent writing time, individual conferences, Writer's Notebooks and sharing time. The results indicated that students enjoyed writing more and were better able to articulate their thoughts when they had lots of choice, time to write, and instant feedback. Instead of apathy and obedient compliance, I saw students writing, conferencing, and enthusiastically sharing the work they enjoyed creating. I saw these Workshop participants becoming an actual community of thinkers, reflectors and writers. I saw students matching the work in my classroom to the work of real writers in the outside world.
Evenson, Connie Lorraine, "Participation in a writer's workshop impacts students' enjoyment of writing and increases their ability to articulate their thoughts" (2006). School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations. 1771.
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