My wonderful I.A. is called out of the room for recess duty during our Writing Workshop time. It's frustrating that this is the case, but I understand the need for extra help around the building - selfishly I don't want it to be MY extra help. I've scoured my schedule to see when Writing Workshop could be moved to happen when she's in the room but my only options are to put it during Reading Workshop, or put it in the afternoon.
The problem with swapping it with Reading Workshop: we do Literacy Centers as part of our Reading Workshop and she runs one of them. The kids are up to doing 2 independently as well as one with me, and one with her. Eventually they will be able to do 4 or 5 on their own, but not for a few more months. I need her here.
The problem with moving it to the afternoon: If you know 5 year olds, and you know what they are like after lunch and after recess, I'll let you imagine my trying to get them to focus on writing. Pfftth.
So my challenge is to conduct Writing Workshop all by my lonesome. Problem is, I have half the class ready to put their stories into story books (drawn pictures on each page depicting their story) and half the class that should start on one page of paper working on how to take the idea from their head and draw it onto paper. I don't want to hold back the first half, but I don't want to rush the second half. My idea for group work might work if I can jump between each group -- while they stay focused (or I'll even take somewhat focused) on the task at hand. Best case scenario -- this works. Realistic case scenario -- it doesn't, let's not kid ourselves. Writing Workshop needs one-on-one, or at least small group, conference time.