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Writers Workshop

msds cohesive k-8 writing plan

The Moraga School District is excited to begin implementing a cohesive approach to the teaching of writing. This year, every classroom grades K-6 and 7th/8th grade English language arts, will teach writing using a writers workshop model which is based on curriculum piloted at Columbia University Teachers College. 


The writers workshop model includes three components:


  • Mini-lesson:  During this opening, teachers may rely on several strategies including conducting a shared reading, connecting students’ learning to how it relates to them as writers and how it relates to the work they have already been doing, demonstrating a writing strategy, directing students in a hands-on activity, allowing for student active engagement to practice a skill, and/or engaging students in a read and think aloud.
  • Independent work time:  During this time, students may work independently, in pairs, or small groups.  The teacher may circulate between groups, conference with individual students and take and anecdotal notes, or work with small groups of students engaged in direct instruction.
  • Share session:  In conclusion, the teacher will meet with the class to check for student understanding, review student learning and outcomes, and/or allow for student sharing of work and new learning.

Students will work in narrative, opinion, and informational genres, going through the writing process to meet the Common Core Standards.  On-going implementation support, coaching, and future staff development offerings throughout the year will be provided from West Coast Literacy Workshop.  The District is grateful to the Moraga Education Foundation for supporting the writers workshop and staff development training.