Warning: 5 Simple Mistakes Made in Writer's Workshop

Are you curious to know about this Warning: 5 Simple Mistakes Made in Writer's Workshop? Welcome! I'm Pam from Rockin Resources and spent 26 years in the classroom. Now I work as a writing coach and curriculum designer and I'd love to share my ideas with you! In case you aren't familiar with my vision, I focus my teaching ideas around MOTIVATE, EDUCATE, DIFFERENTIATE! I hope you find something useful!


It is OK to admit you don't have confidence in writing! You are not alone! Did you know that the National Council on Teacher Quality scanned 2,400 syllabuses for teacher preparation programs and found little evidence that teaching writing was being covered? SAY WHAT? I know I didn't receive training in college on teaching writing and I am the first to admit that I started off my career lacking confidence to teach it. I figured out quickly that I wanted that to change and found ways to ROCK MY WRITING!

I love the saying, "Fake it until you make it!" Being confident with your students will help build their confidence. Try your best to be FEARLESS! In the meantime, learn ways to teach effective writing and start building your confidence.

Check out this FREE TRAINING where I share my secret to writing success!


When I started teaching, I was so caught up on themed prompts for each month and started giving students prompts right away. Don't get me wrong, I still like themed prompts, but I learned not to assess or expect proper writing techniques without explicit instruction and providing effective tools. I'll touch base on explicit instruction in a minute. Right now, let's talk about effective tools for writing. You can keep all these tools in a writing center or supply them for each group of students. Whatever works best for you!

Students need to be equipped with writing checklists so they know what you expect in their writing, word lists to use in writing, student resources with examples of the different skills, graphic organizers for planning, a spelling dictionary, a thesaurus for word choice, colorful pens for revising, etc.

I would love to give you some FREE WRITING CHECKLISTS to get you started.


Yes being blah. We've all been there. Unfortunately, students pick up on it. If we aren't excited or find ways to motivate students, they won't be engaged or willing to learn. Especially if they are a reluctant writer or have writer's block, they might completely shut down. So what can you do?

I like to start off each of my writing lessons with a song or chant. I've used Don't Stop Believing and told my writing rockstars that I believe in them. What about a chant? "Writing is my jam. Everything I want to say is going in my writing today. I'm ready to rock my writing!" When students are writing, don't let any little milestones slip by you. If a student is finally writing in complete sentences, let them know that you notice and are excited for them! The more you are upbeat about a difficult task and sing praises, the more students will want to please you. I promise it works!

I challenge you to start a chant for writing time!


If you are a teacher, you know the phrase, "I just had to wing it." We can't be expected to know every subject, topic, or skill. This is where planning and explicit teaching comes in. What is explicit teaching? It is when you use all of the following because they are equally important.

Learn more about EXPLICIT TEACHING.

I know how precious your planning time is and there is never enough time in the day to get everything done. That is why I developed a fully-loaded writing curriculum that has all 7 steps in it plus more! It even has prompts, forms, and scripts!

You can learn more about it: STEP-BY-STEP WRITING PROGRAM.


You realize not all of your writing rockstars learn or work the same, but do you know what to do about it? There is no problem with whole group instruction. Use the anchor chart! However, include things for your visual learners, auditory learners and kinesthetic learners too! Put a visual on the anchor cart, sing a paragraph song, put motions in it. What about taking notes? I like to use interactive notebooks, but I realize not all students can cut and paste and not all students can take notes effectively. That is why I offer differentiated note-taking. Some will have the notes on it for them, some will have sentence frames, and others will have very little for students to take their own notes. There are so many ways to differentiate to meet the individual needs of your rockstar writers. I love to talk about these strategies on my FB Lives and blog!


I hope you have something to take away today and use in your classroom or homeschool workspace. I'd love to connect with you soon!

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