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Chapter 6: Assessment

Chapter 6 is about assessment. I still cringe when I hear the word assessment, since we all know it means TEST!

But in Writer's Workshop, you're not taking tests or even being evaluated on how well your students do on tests, you're really just collecting information!

What kind of information does one collect?  Information about what the writers know, and what the writers are ready to learn.

This can be done during individual conferences, whole group sharing, or looking at the children's writing later in the day.  I use all these methods to keep track of what my students can do and what they need to learn.

Mary Ellen Giacobbe suggested having 4 different colored writing folders for the group.  On Mondays, go through one color, Tuesday the next, and so on through the week so that you will have looked at each folder before the week is up.

As you find information about what the children need to learn, you can lead them in the right direction in a number of ways.
  • You can give a mini-lesson on the skill the child needs to develop.
  • You can have a read aloud session with a book that models that skill.
  • You can give a quick comment in passing at the beginning of writing time.
  • You can work on that skill in small group.
  • You can work on that skill during an individual writing conference.
Brain research tells us that we need to give honest, prompt feedback.  How do you give feedback to your students about their writing?

I'm linking up with Teaching With Grace and others who are working on this Summer Book Study!


  1. I will have to add that book to my wish list. I am your newest follower:)

    Primary Classrooms are Oceans of Fun

  2. I love your summary of what assessment is in terms of writing. Completely and totally! I plan to work on the 'how' of doing mini-lessons for small groups this year. I feel better about it after our book study this summer!

    Teaching with Grace


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