Many of the teachers at Methow Valley Elementary School do a writer’s workshop with their classes several times a week.
During this time, students get short lessons on new ideas to improve their writing, often using good examples of literature as a model. They also get side-by-side support for improving their writing, and time to write on subjects they choose. They use the writing process (pre-write, draft, revise, edit and publish) developing their own writer’s voice and trying out many genres and audiences.
In 2011-2012, a new “publishing center,” run by volunteer parents, was established in the school art room. Teachers and students may use materials in the center to publish writing of all kinds. Parents trained in publishing are also available to come into classrooms to help students create books and other kinds of publications.
The writing year culminates with a “Young Writer’s Conference” in the spring. Parents come the evening before the conference to hear students read excerpts from their writing and look at books they have published throughout the year. During this time, K-6 students have a chance to work with community authors from many career fields, and to share their writing with students from other grades.