Author Ruth Culham and the Traits of Writing
Workshops from the Culham Writing Company

Workshops

As the traits continue to evolve, so does the work of sharing them with all of you. We’re pleased to be able to offer a variety of different options for you to do large and small group presentations and workshops.

Are you interested in having Ruth Culham, AKA: The Writing Thief, visit your schools, districts, states, or conferences? She’s available and eager to help launch a writing revolution with teachers and students using the traits of writing model. And if she can’t come, we have a hotline to consultants who can help move writing forward in your schools.

We offer the following workshops or presentations and we also do custom training by request. Just call or write for more information. 503-372-0600.

 

BURN THE WORKSHEETS & FIRE UP YOUR STUDENT WRITERS!

No one has ever learned to write from a worksheet.  We all learned to write from a teacher who took the time to show us how writing really works, trait by trait (ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions).  Explore new ways to teach writers without worksheets--ways that really work. Try out activities and lessons that you can use right away as you help students understand writing process--especially revising and editing as they work with each of the traits.  There will be secrets revealed at this workshop—secrets that are simple, easy to implement, and will save you time while improving student writing by leaps and bounds.  (1.5 - 2 hour presentation for all grades)

 

OF COURSE THEY CAN WRITE! PRE-K and BEYOND

The first time a young writer picks up a pen or pencil to capture an idea on paper using pictures and imitations of letters and words, he or she is writing. The traits: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions (and presentation) are terms teachers can use with them right from the start. Using developmentally appropriate scoring guides to understand how early writing works, participants at this workshop will discover how easy it is to infuse the traits--all of them--into conversations and lessons about writing.

 

WRITING IS THE NEW BLACK

A keynote presentation on the state of writing in the Common Core era and how to work with standards to create a high-quality and successful approach to writing using the 4Ws: writing process, writing traits, writing modes, and writing workshop.

 

SEVEN STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING WRITING

This full-day workshop invites participants to sample each strategy and bring ideas ready to use to their classrooms. Appropriate for all grades. If scheduled over time, half day workshops can focus on individual strategies and build skills to teach writing.

 

THE WRITING THIEF: USING MENTOR TEXTS TO TEACH THE CRAFT OF WRITING

Presentation or 2-hour workshop that features the traits, the modes, and how to use fiction and nonfiction mentor texts to learn from the pros how writing works. New picture books, chapter books, young adult books, and everyday texts are shared. Common Core aligned.  Based on the May 2014 text from IRA by Ruth Culham by the same title.

Grade levels (can be combined):

 

DREAM WAKERS: MENTOR TEXTS TO CELEBRATE LATINO CULTURE

It’s been said that mediocre writers borrow, but great writers steal. Writing thieves read widely, dive deeply into texts, and steal bits and pieces from great texts as models for their own writing.

At this session participants will discover how using picture books steeped in Spanish culture and life is a rewarding and powerful teaching strategy to help students at any age learn to write. As models for good writing, students use picture books and chapter books to see the writing traits in action and to learn specific craft techniques to create strong writing using the writing process. ·Participants will sample highly reviewed books with Latino themes that align with each of the traits, make writing connections to each of the modes/purposes (narrative, informational, opinion) and discover digital options for sharing picture books, too.

 

FROM ASSESSMENT to COMMENTS to REVISION & EDITING ala TRAITS

A half or full day workshop on reading student papers, assessing them using the traits of writing model, and learning how to make comments, both written and oral, that focus students on what to do next in their writing to revise or edit⎯or both.

 

TRAIT-BY-TRAIT

In a half-day workshop series, teachers will focus on one trait, its key qualities, and how to assess and teach so students move more deeply into writing in that area. This workshop series must be scheduled over time, so the traits connect and create a bigger picture of writing as a whole.

LEADING THE WAY TO SUCCESSFUL WRITING INSTRUCTION

This half-day hands-on workshop is designed for principals, teacher-leaders, and administrators at the school and district level to provide inspiration and support for dynamic writing practices in schools and classrooms at every level.  In particular, we’ll explore:

 

SMALL GROUP CONVERSATIONS: based on Reading Teacher and Reading Today articles by Ruth Culham:

 

Dream Wakers: Mentor Texts That Celebrate Latino Culture