Writing as a Collaborative Process

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Writing instruction has several components, including collaborative practices like interactive and guided writing. This lesson zooms in on writing with students, or collaboratively, explaining what it is and what it looks like in a classroom.

Quality Writing Instruction

Jenny landed a new job as a literacy coach, helping teachers use best practices when teaching students to read and write. On her first day at school she noticed that several teachers weren't quite up to par on their writing instructional skills. She needed to plan some training to help these teachers out.

Jenny knew quality writing instruction had several components. Her school used a writer's workshop, an approach that allowed teachers to teach writing by exposing students to the writing process. In her observations, Jenny noticed many of the teachers were overlooking a key component used during instruction that helped students to understand new concepts - collaborative writing.

Writer's Workshop

Jenny set up an after school workshop to fine tune components of the writer's workshop. She wanted to make sure her teachers understood all aspects of the workshop before zooming in on collaborative writing, the part during instruction in which teachers write with students.

Jenny's writer's workshop followed a predictable flow. Let's take a look:


The workshop always begins with a teaching point or objective being instructed during a mini-lesson. This is the time at which teachers introduce new concepts and allow students to practice before they're expected to do it on their own.


After the mini-lesson, students write independently. The teacher can conference with a student individually, or conference with groups of students together. When conferencing with writing groups, instructors typically focus ion a specific skill on which all students in the group need work.


After writing time, students come back together to share their writing. During this part of workshop the teacher reviews the teaching point and sets the stage for new learning in the next lesson.

So, how does collaborative writing fit into this picture?

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