I just began an e-discussion with someone about whether or not teachers should check their students’ drafts (i.e., EACH STUDENT’S DRAFT) prior to allowing the kids to move forward and publish their work. We both think the same way: ABSOLUTELY! This absolutely needs to happen in order to ensure that not only is the child doing his/her work, but to see whether or not there is evidence of the teacher’s teaching (i.e., the minilessons given daily) in the child’s writing.
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to go through a pile of drafts that kids write prior to publishing. However, after teaching for four years, I’ve come to believe that kids need us to respond to their work. Furthermore, we need to read young writers’ drafts before letting them publish so we can plan effective strategy lessons, or even whole-class minilessons, if the same issues are cropping up in more than two students’ drafts.
I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).