The Reading Ranch Writer’s Workshop

Writing Lab:  Reading Ranch provides an interactive writing program Writer’s Workshop model which focuses on building the writing process by developing a students’ ideas and transforming into a polished (publishable) writing piece.

child-writingPenmanship & Handwriting: The Reading Ranch’s handwriting improvement program consists of developing penmanship. We focus on stroke development, legibility and appropriate spacing between words.

The Reading Ranch Writing Process implements the Developmental Stages of Writing, which are Modeled Writing, Shared Writing, Guided Writing and Independent Writing. The four stages of teaching effective writing is a gradual release from teacher-directed to independence. To ensure success, the writing lesson is interactive and structured.

Modeled Writing: Our first step in teaching writing to children is sitting around a circle with their writing boards during a think-aloud strategy session. A Reading Ranch teacher will be jotting down student’s ideas using our writing wall.   Since students struggle greatly with getting their ideas going, modeling the writing process is critical. Students need to visually see how writing is done; therefore we take the time to discuss and problem-solve interactively using explicit language while teaching writing.

Shared Writing: During shared writing (pre-writing) and ideal for primary students, a Reading Ranch teacher will scribe the words, but the students are now invited to contribute to the piece. Students contribute ideas while the teacher writes. During this essential pre-writing time, lots of discussion is taking place. We encourage questions and provide answers. Think-alouds continue to be part of this shared writing session.

Guided Writing: In guided writing, a Reading Ranch teacher will provide feedback, redirect young writers using prompts and clues to expand their ideas and develop organization. Oral discussions of sentences will be discussed before writing. Small groups are encouraged for creative writing as many children struggle with formulating ideas. Teacher/student conferences are encouraged and support is given in areas of struggle such as clarity, form, individual voice and grammar. Our role is to empower writers to discover their own meaning.

Independent Writing: This is the final developmental writing stage when a student writes fluently, making connections while expanding their vocabulary and promotes critical thinking. Students are encouraged to reference to charts and other materials to revise and edit composition. Finally, a child must have time to share their writing creation. Not only will this step provide student recognition, but an opportunity to receive feedback.

For students who struggle with writing independently, we may go back and review more share and guided writing which will give the writer a better foundation in building their writing piece.


ksouthwellDr. Kim Southwell, Ph.D.
The Reading Ranch
Owner, Founder & Director

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