Thursday, February 9, 2017

Engaging Parents with the Writing Workshop

We had a good turnout of parents for this morning's PYP Coffee Morning. Our phase level leaders (Mr. Brigham, Mrs. Mollie and Mr. O'Shea) engaged with parents to explain our new approach to teaching writing in the Elementary School.  They started by introducing what a mini lesson looks like and showed how teachers model and teach specific skills to the students, then allow them to actively engage in the process.  In the video, below, you can see an example of a mini lesson from Mr. O'Shea's Grade 6 class.


We then moved on to look at the main part of the workshop - the independent writing.  In this section of the workshop students work at their own pace to progress through the writing process (collecting ideas, planning, drafting, revising, editing and publishing) on topics of their own choosing. During this time, the homeroom teachers confer with individuals or small groups to offer feedback and advice on their next steps. Each unit ends with a celebration of the writing, where students get to share their work as authors with an authentic audience.  In the video below, you can see Mr. Brigham conferring with one of his Grade 1 students.


Parents then had a chance to take a closer look at writing checklists and work samples at the grade level of their daughter.  Mr. Brigham sat with the parents of grade 1 and 2 students, Mrs. Mollie with the grade 3 and 4 students, and Mr O'Shea with the grade 5 and 6 parents.  Here, they had a chance to discuss the work samples, use the student checklists and learn how to support their daughters' writing at home.

Mr. Brigham with parents from grades 1 and 2

Mrs. Mollie with parents from grades 3 and 4

Mr. O'Shea with parents from grades 5 and 6

The session ended with parents using the online tool menti.com to reflect on the session (you can se these reflections in the slides, below). We would like to thank all parents who took the time from their busy schedules to come along and learn about the writing workshop today. We look forward to continuing to work closely with you and your daughters! We would like to say a special thank you to our Phase Level Leaders for putting together and facilitating such an informative parent workshop!

PYP Coffee Morning:  The Writing Workshop at Seisen (slides)

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