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When Writing Workshop Isn't Working

Answers to Ten Tough Questions, Grades 2-5

When Writing Workshop Isn't Working by Mark Overmeyer
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Writing is hard work. Teaching it can be even harder. As most teachers know, writer's workshop doesn't always go as planned, and many find there are obstacles that they consistently struggle with. In his role as a literacy coordinator and teacher, Mark Overmeyer has heard the same issues raised again and again by both new and experienced colleagues. When Writing Workshop Isn't Working provides practical advice to overcome these common problems and get your writing workshop back on track. Acknowledging the process-based nature of the writing workshop, Mark does not offer formulaic, program-based, one-size-fitsall answers; rather, he presents multiple suggestions based on what works in real classrooms. The ten key questions this book addresses include:

  • How do I help students who don't know what to write about?
  • How do I help students develop stronger vocabulary and word choice?
  • How do I prepare my students for standardized tests without compromising my writing program?
  • How should I assess student writing?
  • How can I help my students use revision effectively?

This book is a handy reference tool for answering specific questions as they pop up during the year. Mark uses student examples throughout to help teachers envision these solutions in their own classes, and he includes an array of classroom-tested ideas for helping primary and intermediate English language learners.

There may not be any easy answers to the complexities of writer's workshop, but by identifying and providing advice on the most common stumbling blocks one encounters, When Writing Workshop Isn't Working provides a solid groundworkfreeing up time and creativity for teachers to address the specific needs of their students.

Stenhouse Publishers; July 2005
167 pages; ISBN 9781571104786
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Title: When Writing Workshop Isn't Working
Author: Mark Overmeyer