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Springs Curriculum

Middle School E.L.A. - Writing


The structure of Writer’s Workshop, which takes place daily in grades kindergarten through eighth, includes a mini-lesson; a time when children are writing and the teacher is conferring; and a shared time. Writing Workshop is designed for use in all grade levels. Each grade level has specific units of study tailored to meet developmental and curricular needs. Students have a large amount of choice in their topic and style of writing.

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. From kindergarten through second grade, children keep their writing in folders. Starting in third grade, children keep writer’s notebooks.

Writer’s Workshop, like reading, is taught in units of study, including some genre studies as well as other studies such as craft or a revision study. Each unit culminates in a publication/writing celebration. 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 it will foster independence.Literacy work at Springs School is supported through collaboration with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. As a Project School, Springs School benefits from two part-time staff developers, workshops throughout the school year and summer institute.