In the second grade, we use what we learned in first grade. Through instruction on specific writing strategies, we give students techniques to use in order to make their writing more complex. Second graders begin to use each other to conference, edit, and get ideas for making their stories more interesting.
We use the Writer's Workshop method of instruction. Writer's Workshop has three parts: the mini-lesson, the work period, and the closing.
In the mini-lesson, the teacher gives the students instruction on a specific strategy or standard. The mini-lesson portion of the Workshop lasts from 5-10 minutes.
The second phase of the Workshop method is the work period. During the work period, the students and teacher take on several different tasks. The teacher becomes the facilitator. My role is to guide the students in their writing decisions, to conference with students, to guide the process so that everyone is using their time most effectively. The students have several tasks to choose from during this segment of Workshop. They are to be writing, editing, conferencing (with the teacher or with each other), publishing, or recording new story ideas. The work period is to last 35-40 minutes.
The final portion of the Workshop is the closing. During the closing portion, students read their writing in order to show elements they have used well, ideas that did not work, or to illustrate use of the prescribed strategy from the mini-lesson.