Do yourself a favor right now: Start saving samples of students’ writing.
When I get a particularly good piece of student writing, I am usually so excited to get the graded paper back that I forget to ask if I can make a copy for myself to use for teaching. But when I do, it is so helpful.
The idea of a whole class of students quietly writing, revising, peer conferencing, and working on writing that they care about is an image that I dreamt about for years.
I admit that although I started doing reading workshop with my classes over twelve years ago, it took me another nine years to get up the courage to try writing workshop. Something about the lack of control, I guess.