In Writer’s Workshop, the teacher never hears these two dreaded words, because in WW, there is no such thing as being done. Why not?
During Writer’s Workshop students are, simultaneously, at different stages of the writing process. They might be:
- Prewriting (talking, drawing, webbing, completing a graphic organizer)
- Writing (beginning a new piece or picking up where they left off yesterday)
- Reading their work aloud
- Conferencing (with you or peers)
- Publishing (with a parent volunteer or a high school student)
It isn’t long before students get the rhythm of the writing period and move smoothly from one stage to the next, but initially you may want to present a minilesson on:.
Things you can do if you think you’re done:
- Read your work to a friend
- Read your work in a whisper phone
- Sign up for a conference
- Edit your work using your Editor’s Checklist
- Begin a new piece
Because students choose their own topics in Writer’s Workshop, they often know what they want to write about next and plunge in. Everyone stays busy and focused until the end of the writing time. In fact, what most teachers hear at the end of writer’s workshops are groans: "Can’t we keep writing?"