1st Edition

Writing Clubs Fostering Community, Collaboration, and Choice in the Writing Classroom

    Ask teachers about their biggest challenges in elementary and middle school, and many will say the teaching of writing. It is often difficult for students find the joy, discovery, and satisfaction writing can yield. What Lisa Eickholdt and Patricia Vitale-Reilly have found is that adherence to genre studies can get in the way of student collaboration. Believing writing instruction should be more authentic, they want students to have more choices, develop better collaboration, and sustain a sense of community, all through the implementation of writing clubs.In their book Writing Clubs: Fostering Choice, Collaboration, and Community in the Writing Classroom , you'll discover ways to:

      Collaborate throughout the process of writing Choose what to write and how to write it Examine mentor texts and study craft techniques across genres Develop speaking and listening skills Celebrate classmates’ accomplishments through publication
    Collaboration is widely recognized as a vital life skill. Eickholdt and Vitale-Reilly present a plethora of ideas on how gratifying it can be right now, as well as in the future. There’s an old proverb that says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.’ In Writing Clubs , we discover that there is no limit to how far young writers can go when teachers show them what it means to collaborate.

    Section I: Laying the Foundation; Chapter 1: An Introduction to Writing Clubs; Chapter 2: Launching Writing Clubs: Building Community and Establishing Collaborations; Section II: Complement Clubs; Chapter 3: Process Clubs: Using Clubs to Explore and Develop Process Skills; Chapter 4: Craft Clubs: Studying Mentor Texts Together; Chapter 5: Digital Clubs: Transforming Writing in Authentic Ways; Section III: Stand-alone Clubs; Chapter 6: Genre Clubs: Writing Our Favorite Kinds of Writing; Chapter 7: Author Clubs: Finding a Writing Mentor; Chapter 8: Conventions Clubs: Authentic Opportunities to Play with Writing


    Patty Vitale-Reilly's career in education spans 30 years and varies from being a teacher, staff developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, author, and founder of a literacy consulting group, to her current roles as consultant, author, and speaker. Patty is the coauthor of The Complete Year in Reading and Writing Grade 2 (Scholastic 2008), and the author of Engaging Every Learner (Heinemann, 2015) and Supporting Struggling Learners (Heinemann 2017).

    Lisa Eickholdt has worked as a teacher, interventionist, coach, and professor for twenty-eight years. Today, she is a middle school literacy coach, consultant, and writer.She's the author of Learning from Classmates: Using Students' Writing as Mentor Texts (Heinemann, 2015), and the co-author of The Night Before Christmas at the Zoo (Chronicle Books, 2023) with Lola Schaefer.

    “One clarion call of the pandemic is that we need to humanize our classrooms. In Writing Clubs, Patty and Lisa offer us a roadmap for how to reimagine writing workshop where children know and value each other as people and writers. They’ve anticipated all of our questions, and every chapter is chock full of answers in the form of easy-to-use calendars, unit plans, schedules, mentor texts, and teacher talk. If you're looking for the future of writing workshop, it's right here.” —Katie Cunningham, author of Start with Joy and Story.

    “Too often when educators think about what their students need to flourish as writers, collaboration is not always at the forefront of our minds. Well, no more! Lisa and Patty demonstrate the myriad of ways collaboration is essential—not in the 'ask students to give feedback around checklist items' approach that is prevalent in classrooms, but as the heartbeat of students' writing lives. Writing Clubs is the book you didn't know you needed, but absolutely do. Lisa and Patty position the kind of collaboration that lives in writing clubs is vital; it is the pulse that propels writers forward and creates transformative writing experiences.” —Sonja Cherry Paul, educator, author, and co-founder #IREL, and Dana Johansen, middle school educator and author.

    “This book is written for teachers who wish to infuse new life into their writing workshop by implementing writing clubs that honor student choice and deepen classroom writing communities. Patty and Lisa have created a roadmap to help teachers implement complement and stand-alone writing clubs that will not only help students grow as writers, but will also help them learn how to collaborate. These are two life skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.” —Stacey Shubitz, author of Welcome to Writing Workshop: Engaging Today's Students with a Model That Works