Launching the Writer's Workshop

Launching the Writer's Workshop

Many teachers have confessed that they struggle to get their writer’s workshop off the ground. What should I do the first weeks of school? What are key lessons to jumpstart my writing curriculum? How fast or slow should I move? Regardless of the writing model you’re currently using, this full-day workshop provides participants with a powerful framework of lessons that can help launch their writing year. Throughout the day, attendees will have the opportunity to plot and plan their own instructional calendar for teaching writing during the first six weeks of school. Teachers walk out the door at the end of the workshop ready to go with their own blueprints in hand!

Workshop Topics

  • Understand the four phases of the workshop launch.
  • Learn classroom-tested routines and procedures to establish the writing environment.
  • Set the tone that writing occurs daily.
  • Receive organizational ideas for writers’ notebooks.
  • Learn day-by-day strategies to introduce the 6 Traits of Writing so teachers and students are using a common language.
  • Balance free-choice writing topics with teacher-assigned topics.
  • Receive ready-to-go lessons with supporting resources, activity pages, and authentic student writing samples.

When you leave, you will be able to:

  • Kick off the school year with a 20-day “game plan” for teaching writing.
  • Establish routines to effectively manage a writer’s workshop.
  • Implement a writer’s notebook in the classroom.
  • Lead efficient and effective writing conferences with students.
  • Develop a classroom writing rubric that students can use and understand.
  • Transition from procedural lessons into the first writing unit.
  • Take home a complimentary copy of Kristina’s book, Launching The Writer’s Workshop.
Launching the Writer's Workshop
Book & online resources are free!
Attendees receive a FREE copy of Launching the Writer’s Workshop, available for K-2 or grades 3-12. This popular resource is loaded with lesson plans, anchor papers, and classroom photos and includes online access to downloadable forms and handouts. (A $27.99 value!)

Lifetime Access to Workshop "Secret Site"


✔ Downloadable Lessons
✔ Interactive Whiteboard Documents
✔ Blackline Masters
✔ PowerPoint Templates
✔ Related Video Content
✔ Links to Helpful Websites

Target Audience

K-6 Classroom Teachers
Literacy Coaches
Literacy Coordinators
Title I Teachers / Directors
6-12 ELA Teachers
K-12 High-Ability Teachers
K-12 Administrators
Teachers at a Live Smekens Workshop

Teacher Feedback

"I finally feel like I have a handle on how to approach writing. As a middle school history teacher who has to also do a period of writing, this has been invaluable. Loved it!" Huston Mathias, Grade 8 US History & Writing Teacher, Ingersoll Middle School, Canton, IL

"My entire 4th grade team started on the first day of school with Kristina's personal post-it notes to plan 'launching the writing workshop,' and it was phenomenal! Thank you for fun, engaging lessons and mentor texts that are easy to implement and use!" Megan McAdams, Grade 4 Teacher, Frances Slocum Elementary, Marion, IN
“Kristina presents information without promoting a program and makes it valuable for every grade level.” Lisa Savage, Grade 2 Teacher, Hicksville Exempted Village School District, Hicksville, OH

"I am never let down when I come to a Smekens workshop. I leave every time with realistic teaching strategies, fantastic resources, and a clear plan on how to go back to school and use what I have learned." Christa Benedict, Grades 6-8 Teacher, Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Cincinnati, OH
“I am finally not overwhelmed thinking about my year of writing units. I know what I need to do to set up a successful year of writing for my kids!” Rachel Gish, Grade 3 Teacher, Holy Family School, New Albany, IN

Call Smekens Education toll free to learn more.

Workshop Presenter: Kristina Smekens

Back-to-School Literacy Conference 2020
registration will be available soon!


Attend one day:
$219 (Early Bird)  |  $249 (Standard)

Attend two days:
$395 (Early Bird) | $425 (Standard)

Attend three days:
$595 (Early Bird)  |  $625 (Standard)

Attend four days:
$795 (Early Bird) | $825 (Standard)

Discounts available!

  • Register at least 15 days in advance and save!
  • Register for more than one day and save!
  • Principals attend free with one paid staff member!
  • For teams of 10+: Contact our office for a 10% savings!

Workshop Itinerary
7:30-8:30 a.m. — Check in & breakfast snack
8:30 a.m. — Workshop begins
11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. — Enjoy lunch on your own
12:45 p.m. — Workshop resumes
3:30 p.m. — Workshop concludes
Also available as an Online Workshop
K-2 Workshop
3-12 Workshop

Professional Growth Credits

Certified educators can earn professional growth credits for attending a Smekens Education workshop. All workshop attendees receive a certificate of participation for 5.25 hours of professional development for each one-day workshop. Visit our Continuing Education Credit page to learn more.

Graduate-Level Credit

Through a partnership with University of the Pacific, workshop attendees can pursue one, two, or three hours of nationally-accredited graduate-level semester credits for attending a workshop during the Back-to-School Literacy Conference. The cost of graduate-level credit ($62 per credit) is separate from the cost of attending a workshop. For more information, please contact us.


Cancellations may occur up to 3 days prior to the selected workshop without penalty. A refund, minus a $50 service fee, will be paid for cancellations made within 3 days of the workshop. No refund will be given to registrants who fail to provide advance notice to Smekens Education of a cancellation. Substitutions may occur at any time. However, free registration (for principals) is non-transferable.

Have a workshop question?
Fill out this form or call (888) 376-0448.