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Hello,

I am new to this board and am hoping someone can help me out.  I want to incorporate more of the writers workshop model in my classroom.  I teach 6th grade Language Arts - 80 minute blocks.  I feel that I have so much to teach that the workshop model is getting put to the side.  I have vocabulary, district required novels, required writing pieces, etc. that take up most of my time.  I do try and have the students write everyday - either on the novel, journal prompts, using the vocabulary, on video clips I show, on articles I pull, and more.  I would love to see how others fit it in to their schedule.  How do you teach everything else and do a workshop?  I don't get how to make this happen.  I think seeing some lesson plans or a schedule/calendar of lessons will really help me visualize how to fit it all in. 

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

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Replies to This Discussion

Justin - I agree - it is very overwhelming when we have so much curriculum we have to cover.  Here's what we've tried in the past and it works pretty well - alternate your reading/writing focus days. Every day silent reading with conferences, etc. and then alternate days of reading strategy instruction, etc. and the next a writing workshop with a mini-lesson and dedicated writing time.  I'm not saying it works perfectly all the time - hardly (!) but at least we know we are giving each part of LA time for the students to work in each. 
I also agree!  I have just begun a new school so I'm just getting into the routines.  I am trying to use the workshop model for the first time (well more formally).  I only have 40 min. for workshop so we'll see how that goes.  I'm thinking of only having sharing time every other day and really sticking to the short mini-lessons so that the students have as much writing time as possible.  You could try scheduling half of your time to writing workshop and the other half to the rest of the things you need to cover?  Sorry, I am not much help.

I also teach grade six and have a limited amount of time. I have daily reading time, and then have split the rest of the curriculum into units (most of which are writing: narrative, non-fiction and poetry) and will teach these units outside of the reading time. This allows me to have daily writing for the majority of the year. I also incorporate word work and vocabulary into my reading and writing time. For example, I have a word wall where we add commonly misspelled words (and I may have to add misspell to the wall as I have no idea how to spell it!) and vocabulary words. You could also have students create word banks for individualized spelling words they are working on and vocabulary words they come across. Whenever I can, I take some time for the students to engage in different activities that use their word banks, as well as teaching mini-lessons on grammar and spelling patterns.

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