Workshop Model

This year, 7th and 8th grade English are following a Workshop Model based on the research and readings of Nancie Atwell, Donald Graves, Linda Rief, etc.   The Workshop Model allows for student choice in their reading and writing, and lessons can then be tailored to individual student needs.

Each day, students will either have a Writing Workshop or a Reading Workshop.  They'll read and analyze poetry for it's structure, language, formatting, etc.  Or they'll read through various short stories and discuss the merits of good fiction and how authors write well.  We'll go through mini lessons on craft, conventions, and genre studies.

Then, students will take this knowledge and apply it to their own writing and reading.  They'll mimic and copy the forms of writers like Roald Dahl, Poe, S.E. Hinton, Richard Connell, among others, until they are able to find their own voice and craft their own words.  They will conference with peers and adults, working at revision and polishing until the pieces they create are worthy of sharing with others.  
Sample Lessons from Nancie Atwell's In The Middle.

Over the course of 7th and 8th grade, many of the mini lessons come from Nancie Atwell's workshop model, and the lessons she's created in Lessons that Change Writers.  

Using the link above, you can see an example of one of the conventions lessons and Nancie's thought process when she developed this lesson.
Skills Based Lessons and Groupings

Because the workshop model is fluid and students are working at their own pace, there will be times that groups become mixed between 7th and 8th grade.  Depending on the mini-lessons being taught, students may need to work with Ms. Scudder on poetry formats and breaking lines and stanzas while another group of students is working with Mrs. Nicol on how to create a memoir.

These groups are intended to be flexible.  They can and will change on a daily basis.