Beginning the Year: Preparing Students to Support Each Other Within a Community of Writers

Hello again!
     Setting the right tone for Writing Workshop at the beginning of the school year is a goal at the forefront of my thinking.  I want my students to feel like a community of writers who can work and grow together and support each other every day. I've been working on a set of classroom posters with some of my favorite quotes to share with students.  Here is one of them:
Blog post by Janiel Wagstaff about working to create a supportive community of writers at the beginning of the school year.

(Poster Artistic Credits:  DJB Fonts, Babbling Abby, Darcy Baldwin Fonts)
I say something like this to my students when I show them the poster for the first time:  

“We are all writers!  We all have ideas to share and stories to tell.  We are all at different places in our journey to grow as writers.  Some of us may have an easier time getting words on the page than others. Some of us are more confident artists and have had more practice drawing, and that shows up in our writing.  Some of us find spelling words really easy, while others have a harder time.  And, some days, some of us have an easier time coming up with ideas to write about than others.  It doesn’t matter.  We are all here to support each other to grow.  We do our best, we ask for help and response when we need it, we aid each other the best we can.  Over the year, I will help you learn many ways to support each other.  We are all writers!  All of us!   Our writing may not always look ‘right’ on the paper.  It may not look like an adult’s writing.  Well, it shouldn’t, because we are not adults!  We are kids.  And, we are growing.  We will grow leaps and bounds this year!  So remember, no matter how someone’s writing looks on the page, listen to their mind, listen to their heart.  It is their ideas that matter most.  Never forget that!  Then, help each other, support each other, and encourage each other to keep writing and keep growing!  That is the most important thing we can do to build our community of writers!"

The beginning of the year is also an ideal time for reading favorite books that remind students how their reactions to one another's pieces can affect EVERYTHING.  First on my list of read-alouds is Ish! by Peter Reynolds.  This book is a perfect analogy for writing (though it is about the artistic process):  what happens when we write, when we struggle, and when someone responds with negativity to our writing.  

(I also use his book The Dot at the beginning of the year to discuss the importance of supportive response.)

Peter Reynolds understands the creative process inside-out, and seeks to support students' creative endeavors.  Check these out:
Blog post by Janiel Wagstaff about working to create a supportive community of writers at the beginning of the school year.

I love the pledge and the poster.  How perfect are these for the beginning of the year?  And these are just two examples of the engaging support materials found on his website:

Of course, it takes more than a couple of lessons and posters to really create a thriving writing community.  Every day, we have to walk the walk: modeling supportive response, explicitly teaching students how to support one another, lending them language, encouraging them to come up with their own ideas on how to boost the writing community, stirring up excitement about the risks writers are taking in their pieces, and celebrating their growth.  I start, right from the beginning, using students' writing as mentor texts to discuss, teach from, and enjoy.  And, lest we forget, students always have time to share their writing with each other--during and at the closing of the workshop.  Even just a few minutes at the end of a Writing Workshop (I call this "Everybody Share Time"), can make all the difference in helping writers feel their work is purposeful and valued.

I wish you the best as you begin a new school year.  You have the most important job in the world--and the best job in the world!  Watching writers grow, hearing their voices emerge and become bold, watching them become empowered--what could be better?
Here's to you and your writers!

P.S. If you'd like a copy of the poster I made ("We Are All Writers"), just email me and I'll send it to you (


  1. I have support each other to write the academic service,Because It has vast field and has a good scope.If you are looking the best economics thesis topics service turn out to the thesis writing help for all the academic work.

  2. As a student, fostering a community of writers is invaluable. Starting the year by preparing students to support each other cultivates a collaborative environment. It builds confidence and encourages growth. However, it's essential to remember the importance of individual effort; relying on services like pay someone to do an assignment undermines this collective learning process.


Back to Top