Takeaways from Participants of CWP’s Session on Revision at CCIRA February 2018

  • Take the time to share Golden Lines of student writing!
  • I wish I knew why we write.  I do not mean “authors” purpose.  I mean this writing that digs into my heart. Is it an important part of the human experience?  Can we get to the same stuff as oral processors?  Percolating on these questions.
  • I’m going to start writing – every single time my kids are writing.
  • Thanks for the time to write!  Today I realized I need to be my own writing teacher and encourage myself to do this  — that I have ideas worth exploring and revising.
  • *Golden line   *Teacher revision – live!    *Playing with writing, not fixing it.
  • Courage comes first – to write to tell your story.  Sharing makes us feel like writers. Then we are willing to revise.
  • I love the idea of looking for the true heartbeat of a piece.
  • This just adds to the plan I have after hearing Ralph Fletcher.  This new Greenbelt Writing Project I’m going to start where I encourage students to defy genre with their writing.
  • That revision does not have to be a difficult/teeth-pulling process!  Revision helps empower writers.
  • I am planning on exploring this idea of the heart of the writing.  Loved this!
  • There are so many things I’ve learned – is this method/idea the one thing I will have time to do?
  • Give students the space to try.
  • A good way to demonstrate the why of revision to students.  Give them a real world example—not just some other task they have to do.
  • A beautiful reminder that letting writers play as revisers builds courage and celebrates them as writers.
  • I wish there had been an invitation to play.  The writing and revising was the painful (traditional) way.
  • My take away from this session has been the ability to fail on the first try but be given chances to improve upon it, learn from it, and know I’m not the only one.  The “it” is writing.
  • Revision doesn’t mean scrutiny.  It means time to play – review, revise, re-see and spice things up!
  • How do we get kiddos more time to passion write?
  • Love the heart of the story.  How to integrate specific writing skills with the greenbelt?
  • Find time no matter what to allow kids to write about whatever they are passionate about.  Give them courage to understand it’s a messy process.
  • Sharing—reading your writing out loud is the key to revising.
  • My take away is that revision is what all writers wrestle with as they polish.
  • Georgia Heard’s Revision Toolkit has valuable questions that move away from basic questions to ones that dig deeper, yet are respectful of the writer.
  • Writing with kids makes all the difference in the world.
  • Revision is the love of writing.
  • Write Your Way Out—what a great start to a quick write.  I’m reminded that writing is a process that takes time—revision takes time and play.
  • We must change the way we talk about revision.  It is not a to-do list of doom but an opportunity to find your voice.
  • I love the questions for peer conferring – revision questions that you ask the writer before they share their writing.
  • I want to work to provide opportunities for my students to take ownership of their writing and feel that they truly are writers.


Thanks for joining us at CCIRA!

–Stevi and Karen

Why I use workshop

I use workshop because providing students with choice, time, feedback, instruction, and structure creates a magic that entices even the most reluctant and spazziest 6th grader, as well as the coolest and laziest 12th grader, to write and risk and create.

The days when I know my writing workshop is thriving are the days when I get to class and the students don’t even notice my arrival.  Full disclosure: The first time this happened, I felt insulted.  Hey, I’m the teacher and this is MY class! Everything revolves around ME!  Nothing begins in here until I get class going!

And then, I took advantage of this “fly on the wall” opportunity and I listened and observed my writing workshop at work.  I watched my students get their writing areas set up, lining up pencils, finding a fresh, clean page in a writer’s notebook, and powering up computers.  There was a happy buzz of productivity as the students greeted each other and got situated.  They were happy and excited and motivated.  I realized that while my students still needed me, they didn’t need me to get them started or to tell them what to do that day – they knew what THEY wanted to do as writers.  Because of the work we did to establish our workshop at the beginning of the year, my students were serious about their writing work, and they wanted to get down to business.

It was writing nirvana.  And it was magic made possible by workshop.

–Sheila Kaehny, CWP Teacher Consultant

Why I Did CWP

Two weeks in July of 1992 changed my life as a teacher. I know that sounds a bit radical, but that’s the summer I learned about writers’ workshop – not just how to teach writers’ workshop, but how to be a writer in a writers’ workshop. Colorado Writing Project showed me the power of writing in a community, of writing for my own purposes, of writing with passion and power and joy. I never looked back after that summer. I believe unconditionally in the way writers’ workshops change people’s lives, whether they be five or fifteen or fifty. Join us for an unforgettable experience and transform your own classroom. It’s never too late and your students will thank you for it!

Shari VanderVelde, CWP Teacher Consultant

Graduate of Karen Hartman’s 1992 CWP and Stevi Quate’s 1995 CWPII