Room Organization






Classroom Setup

Things that Need to Be in Place for Writing     

  • Set up bulletin boards with pocket folders [run off types of writing instruction sheets and put them inside.]

  • Color-code and alphabetize writing folders to staple to bulletin board.

  • Set up bins with paper, pens, white-out, rulers, scissors, envelopes etc.

  • Charts for first mini-lesson and reminders are made. Or make these with your students. This site shows an elementary class's charts for writing workshop.

  • Folder containing Mini-lessons- begin gathering lessons you want to teach students about writing.

  • Desks in pairs or threes etc.

  • Make sure reference charts are positioned around your room.

  • First Day Print out Rules and Expectations for students.

  • All computers and neo-smarts in working order

  • Printers are hooked up

  • Computer room is booked for every two weeks.

Get Yourself Organized


  • Review some of the ideas in Nancie Atwell's book Lessons That Change Writers. I Highly recommend it.

  • Writing Workshop Survival Kit- Gary Robert Muschla

  • Writers’ Toolboxes for each group { pencils, colored pens, highlighters, strips of paper, sticky notes, stapler, hole punch, extra folders, cum cards, students’ folders}

  • May need a writing folder for each student [if money is available]

  • Neo Smarts for struggling students

  • Bins/shelf for student folders

  • Conference premade tracking sheets.

  • Daily Record Sheets

  • During Conference it is important to keep a record of student's progress and concerns along with advice you may have given. I find the Nancie Atwell's approach best for keeping notes.

  • Encourage your students and use lots of praise for what they do well.


Other Things to Know About Beginning Your Workshop

  • Use clear and consistent language

  • “Today I want to teach you….”

  • “Begin TPS please” [think-pair-share]

  • “So today and everyday when you…”

  • “How’s it going? What is your writing need today?”

  • Your teaching point needs to always be a strategy. You can be sure of this by planning out the teaching point exactly the way you want to say it and writing it on the board or using a data projector and PowerPoint presentations.


Tips on Mini-lessons

  • Be careful not to let your examples overwhelm your point.

  • Whenever possible, it helps to make your mini-lesson concrete. Showing the strategy you are talking about or using hand gestures is helpful.

  • Mini-lessons often get derailed at the end of the Active Involvement, after children have talked to or worked with their partners. Having children “report back” shouldn’t be the next step. Mention a couple of things you heard, and then move on to your connections.





Reminders To Students

  • Speak loudly so everyone can hear

  • Look at your audience, not at me

  • Make your ideas clear (think before you talk)

  • Look at the speaker and have a calm body

  • Take charge of your listening (if you can’t hear, speak up)

  • Be able to retell the speaker’s ideas

  • Be able to respond to the speaker’s ideas

  • Think along with what the speaker is saying

Getting Students' attention

  • Magic Five” (“Give Me Five”)

  • “Stop, look, and listen”…. “Okay!”

  • “And a hush fell over the crowd…” “Hushshshsh……”

  • Rain stick

  • Raising arm in the air

Group Discussion:  Go over rules as many times as necessary for this plan. Post these around the room.


Write and observe at home!