Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide, by Fletcher and Portalupi

This is an easy-to-read book about the foundations of Writer's Workshop.  The authors help educators build a strong base of the WW format, and there are great suggestions at the end of each chapter.  

This is what Amazon.com has to say about the book:

Today we face a time when as many as ten million new teachers are entering the profession. It is for these teachers, and others who are unfamiliar with writing workshop, that Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi wrote this book - as a way to introduce and explain the writing workshop... to reveal what a potent tool the writing workshop can be for empowering young writers.

Above all Writing Workshop is a practical book, providing everything a teacher needs to get the writing workshop up and running. In clear language, Fletcher and Portalupi explain the simple principles that underlie the writing workshop and explore the major components that make it work. Each chapter addresses an essential element, then suggests five or six specific things a teacher can do to implement the idea under discussion. There's also a separate chapter entitled "What About Skills," which shows how to effectively teach skills in the context of writing. The book closes with practical forms in the appendixes to ensure that the workshop runs smoothly.

Fletcher and Portalupi's twenty-plus years working with teachers have convinced them that there is no better way to teach writing. This important book is the culmination of all their years of effort, a synthesis of their best thinking on the subject.

Check out the following website for more information and helpful tips as you start WW in your classroom:


  1. Many of you have asked for the youtube video that I showed last year about writer's notebooks. Here is the link:
    ONE REALLY COOL THING: This is put together by Ruth Ayres, the person who is doing professional development this year with us at SB!!! WOOHOO!

  2. I love how Fletcher and Portalupi compare WW to a junior high Industrial Arts class....not just because Brian teaches this subject but because it makes complete sense. Students SHOULD be working on individual projects at their own pace...while the teacher moves around the room guiding students as needed to take them to that next level as writers. My favorite line on page 2 is "But there is never any doubt that the student 'owns' the project and is ultimately responsible for it." This is what we need to remember as we are working with our children during the WW time. They need to have CHOICE - to have a VOICE in what they are writing.

  3. Keys to becoming a successful writer:
    1. Be a writer.
    2. Believe in doing instead of talking.
    3. Expect to fail.
    4. Build on strengths.