I am starting to feel that euphoric feeling of a real Writer’s Workshop. That is exactly why I stopped to take pictures right in the middle of Writers Workshop the other day. Everyone , even my most reluctant writers ,had settled into their writing places. They had their writing binders, graphic organizers, rough drafts, papers etc The quiet music was playing in the background. Some were partnered up peer revising. Others were referring to dictionaries. Pencils were on paper--- real writing was happening. Everyone was on-task They had their own mission and it looked purposeful. I had to step back and savor it for a moment.
It would take another teacher to appreciate all of the hard work that went into to cultivating this successful atmosphere. Parents don’t get to experience this moment or the chaos of it all either . They generally see only the final copy that has been turned in. To me, I much more enjoy the everyday teaching moments and learning that takes place in those small moments. I love seeing the interaction between classmates/fellow writers. I have been amazed many times with the way my kids have grown into writers. What helped me change my workshop the most was shifting my thinking to teaching the writer and not the writing. Every teaching point and mini-lesson has a much different purpose now. They are constructed to help them become better writers not just improve or fix this piece. This, in turn, I feel has given them a greater confidence. They are treated like writers therefore they act like writers. Also celebrating the small moments not just the final product is so rewarding and powerful. When they feel they have applied a minilesson well. Or when they have revised something to make it better or when they have thought about and generated an effective lead. We need to celebrate and feel validation at all of these moments.