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 and presentations and we also do custom training by request. Just email us at Ruth@CulhamWriting.com

 

DOING IT ALL AND DOING IT WELL

Imagine if there was a simple, logical, and practical way to organize your writing instruction to include everything important about writing process, writing traits, writing modes, and writing workshop while also meeting Standards. Sound impossible? It’s not We’ll focus on how to integrate best practices and develop a robust, comprehensive, and doable writing framework that creates fluent, confident writers at every grade. Explore a new way to teach writers without worksheets that shows them how revision and editing really work: The Writing Wallet.

 

WHAT'S IN YOUR WRITING WALLET?

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)

 

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.

1. Use the traits to dive deeply into student writing.
2. Use writing folders to practice revision and editing skills.
3. Use reading to improve writing.
4. Use warm-ups to scaffold writing practice
5. Use RAFTS to inspire strong writing in the content areas
6. Use the modes to clarify the purpose for writing
7. Use focus lessons to develop targeted skills and strategies

 

BECOMING A WRITING THIEF

It's been said that good writers borrow while 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. There are so many writing models right at our fingertips: picture books, chapter books, everyday texts and more. At this session, we’ll examine mentor texts that can be used to teach each trait of writing as well as the modes. We’ll delve into the relationship between reading and writing so every teacher can become a Writing Thief.

 

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.

 

SHORT TEXTS FOR SHORT KIDS: Using Picture Books to Teach Writing With the Traits Grades K-3

Using fiction and nonfiction picture books 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 to see the writing traits in action and to learn specific craft techniques to create their own strong writing. ·Participants will sample books that align with each of the traits and discover digital options for sharing picture books, too.

 

 

SHORT TEXTS FOR TALL KIDS: Mentor Texts for Writing

Mentor texts are used to improve writing as students examine how favorite authors develop ideas, shape organization, apply voice, utilize word choice, explore sentence fluency, and of course, use conventions and presentation so writing is easy to read. In this session, favorite nonfiction chapter and young adult books by Gary Paulsen will be highlighted and matched to each trait. Learn how to use excerpts from longer texts as models for each of the traits and what to do with them to improve student writing. (grade 4 and up)

 

 

OF COURSE THEY CAN WRITE!

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.

 

 

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

 

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Dream Wakers: Mentor Texts That Celebrate Latino Culture