Coman Hill and Writers Workshop

Writers Workshop allows students to practice writing as a meaningful part of the daily classroom curriculum working on the fundamental skills of literary growth. Starting in Kindergarten, students begin by learning how to hold a pencil correctly, coloring within the lines, and drawing pictures that help reflect their stories. “Teachers reinforce the basics; left to right, top to bottom, letter formation, spaces between words, and more,” said Mrs. Elise Feder, Kindergarten teacher. Students then learn that one written word matches one spoken word early in the process.

“We are developing the child’s innate ability to narrate their personal experiences because they are natural storytellers. We are encouraging and fostering that goal while teaching structure, conventions, and mechanics,” said Mrs. Jean White, Kindergarten teacher. Developing narration, story sequencing, and plot are critical steps in this growth.

Students experience their stories becoming actual writings and get excited as they discover that they can be authors. “It all starts with self-confidence and independence,” said Mrs. Linda Haracz, Kindergarten teacher. Taking small slow steps is crucial as students start with pictures and gradually move to words. Stretching out words through inventive spelling is valuable for beginners, as well as practicing sight words displayed around the classroom.

“One incredible thing about kindergarten is that teachers track the fundamentals and foundations of reading and writing. We see the pieces come together,” said Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Devin Steinberg. “It is the magic of the grade!”

“This year, while we are teaching in two classrooms, the children benefited from smaller group settings to learn the fundamentals of writing,” said Mrs. White. The kindergarten teachers learned the value of collaboration, as they modified instruction and incorporated best teaching practices.

Writers Workshop is based on the idea that students learn to write best when they frequently practice for extended periods on topics of their choosing. The Coman Hill kindergarten teachers spend a great deal of time building a solid foundation and getting students to tell their stories through their writer’s voice.