Tools and Resources to Support Writing Development

  • Please use this link to access resources from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. 

  • Table of Contents

    • What is Writing W orkshop? Overview of W orkshop T eaching (with LaKisha Howell)

    • Writing with Your Child at Home (with Heather Burns)

    • Writing Homework: Writers Notebooks (with Lisa Corcoran)

    • Finding Real Purposes for Writing at Home: List Making (with Amanda Hartman)

    • W a ys to Support Y our Child’ s Spelling Development (with Cindy Williams)

    • Playing with Letters and Sounds (with Natalie Louis)

    • Help Your Child Spell at Home (with Amanda Hartman)

    • Making Spelling Fun and Games (with Natalie Louis)

    • Don’ t Just T ell Them How T o Spell It...Show Them How (with Amanda)

    • Help Your Child Generate Ideas for Writing and Rehearse Them: 3 Different Students (with Amanda


    • Supporting Grammar at Home (with Mary Ehrenworth)

    • Nuts and Bolts of Essay Writing (with Cheney Munson)

    • Make Writing into Gifts: Poetry (with Amanda Hartman)

    • Help Your Child Revise their Writing (with Amanda Hartman)


    What is Writing Workshop? Overview of Workshop Teaching

    You might be wondering, what is a Writing Workshop? What type of writing instruction is my child getting? In this video, LaKisha provides an overview of Writing Workshop. She provides some tips and suggestions of things that you can do with your children, at home to support their writing development.

    Writing with Your Children at Home

    In this video, Heather shares some of the ways she creates authentic opportunities for writing with her seven year old daughter. From lists and weekend schedules to apology letters and love notes, this video will provide you with a wealth of ideas for “taking the mundane and making it marvelous!”

    Writing Homework: The Writer’s Notebooks

    Lisa shares ways to help writers in grades three and up work on their writing at home. She starts by explaining to us all, “What is a writer’s notebook?” She then gives lots of suggestions for utilizing the notebook at home.

    Finding Real Purposes for Writing at Home: List Making

    In this video, Amanda works with Alex to co-create a shopping list for a birthday party. You’ll get ideas for ways to find real and authentic purposes for writing at home, such as making a shopping list together, writing a letter to grandparent, or creating a sign for the door.

    Ways to Support Your Child’s Spelling Development

    In this video, Cindy shares ways to support your child’s spelling development She helps clarify the approximations you see your child making as they learn how to spell words. Cindy shows you how to help your child access spelling strategies to help them spell on their own, even if it is an approximated spelling.

    Playing with Letters and Sounds

    Learn some best practices around phonics acquisition with this video. Natalie gives ways that you can get letters into students hands in playful ways. Natalie gives practical tips to get even the youngest children reading and writing playfully in ways that will support their letter-sound knowledge.

    Help Your Child Spell at Home with Inventive Spelling

    One Word (candle)
    Two Words (birthday cake)
    When your child is beginning to learn how to write, they will go through some predictable stages in spelling. Many parents ask, “Should I correct my child’s spelling? Should I tell them how to spell?” In this video, Amanda practices with Alex, stretching out the sounds, slowing the word down, to hear more sounds. When you are helping your child with spelling, you can do the same. This will give them more confidence for when they are writing in class throughout the day.

    Making Spelling Fun with Games

    In this video, Natalie harkens back to games we all know and love, Boggle, Bananagrams, Scrabble, reminding us that playing those games with our children will help them think about and experiment with words, a cornerstone of spelling development. Natalie reminds us that we can connect with our students around spelling and words in meaningful ways.

    Don’t Just Tell Them How To Spell It...Show Them How “Try it Different Ways”
    “Clap out the parts, put a vowel in each part”

    In these clips, Amanda models two ways to check and fix spelling mistakes, ways that your child can try out even on their own. You’ll watch Amanda coach students using two different spelling strategies when tackling a tricky word.

    Help Your Child Generate Ideas for Writing and Rehearse Them: 3 Different Students

    Student One

    Student Two
    Student Three
    In Writing Workshop, one of the big demands on student writers is for them to come up with their own ideas for writing. Here, in three videos, Amanda helps three different kids (a kindergartener, 1st grader, and second grader) to generate their own ideas and practice saying out loud their story, how-to or poem. Practicing this outside of school will surely give your child lots of topic ideas to write about in school as well.

    Supporting Grammar at Home

    In this video, Mary Ehrenworth answers questions you may not even know you have around grammar! As deputy director of TCRWP, a parent, and a writer, Mary has a wealth of knowledge around the stages of language acquisition. Mary also addresses the hot topic of digital literacy and provides tips for supporting your child’s development of academic English alongside digital language.

    Nuts and Bolts of Essay Writing

    Essays are a huge part of writing. In this short clip, Cheney shares how your child is being taught to structure and organize an essay. He explains some important terms you will probably hear your child use, such as “boxes and bullets”. He also quickly demonstrates the process your child is expected to go through when drafting an essay: develop a topic or claim, list reasons to support the claim, give examples to back up each reason, and then explain the chosen examples. 

    Make Writing into Gifts: Poetry  

    Have you ever wondered, ‘What can I do with all the writing that comes home from Writing Workshop?’ or ‘How else can I encourage my child to write at home?’ In this short clip is the start of a project that Amanda helps Rania to do: Write a couple of poems for her parents. You can make gifts of poetry, songs, and even stories for those you love. Remember to take the lead form your child, they know so much about writing!

    Help Your Child Revise their Writing

    Adding Pages

    Choosing a Strategy

    Deciding How to Read

    Presenting Options

    Often as parents, when we go to help our children with their writing, we aren’t exactly sure where to start. It can feel much easier to jump in and help children edit for spelling, punctuation, and conventions than to help your child with structure and elaboration. In these four clips you will see Amanda work with two students, a kindergartener and a first grader, to revise their writing in purposeful and intentional ways.

    TCRWP Staff Developers Talking Directly to Parents and Families in Spanish

    What is Writing Workshop? Part One ¿Qué es un taller de escritura? Parte Uno

    What is Writing Workshop? Part Two ¿Qué es un taller de escritura? Parte Dos

    Things you can do at home to support your child in learning English. Cosas que puede hacer en casa para ayudar a su hijo/a a aprender Inglés.