Middle school writer’s workshop works for three reasons.
Because I’m limited to those 42 minutes, I run writer’s workshop differently than others with a
more generous schedule. While we don’t have the luxury of using weeks on end, we do have just enough time to make it work.
Prewriting and Idea Gathering
Drafting and Mini-Lessons
Let me explain how I do this with 22-29 students per class and our measly 42 minute periods. And me. Just me. Cue the long sigh.
2) I look specifically for evidence that they are addressing the skills from the mini-lesson.
There is no time for the type of lengthy conference there might be in an elementary classroom that
can bend the time constrictions. There is no time for a total read/thorough list of suggestions and comments. There is only time for a partial read with one or two quick comments. During our personal narrative unit, I might suggest that Bixby include some dialogue to advance the plot. Or I might ask Buffy if she can find a place to slow down the action and dig deep into some descriptive writing.
Peer Revision and Editing
Sharing and Publishing Final Drafts
Our publication parties are different depending on the task. They usually look like this: Argumentative Essays: They become authentic and purposeful when we turn them into letters to government representatives, as discussed here.