Writing is an activity which is best accomplished at designated times in the classroom when all students are expected to be on task and expressing their own ideas in print. Teachers should be models of the writing process by also making the time to develop their own writing during these designated times during the day.
First drafts can be done on paper or on a word processor. The key is that writing is done as an uninterrupted, sustained process which allows young authors to generate all the ideas they have on a topic. For some classrooms this may be most conducive during a period of silence. In other classrooms authors may be allowed to dictate first drafts into microphones or to an aide or volunteer during these times of sustained writing. the choice is yours. The key is that everyone is purposefully writing on a subject from their topic list.
Occasionally an author will have a block and need to work on their topic list during a period of sustained writing. It is good to allow this option, as a topic list rich with ideas is important in avoiding future writing blocks. Once the author has identified a topic ripe for writing, he or she should then proceed to let the ideas flow into a first draft.
At the end of sustained, uninterrupted writing, some teachers choose to invite authors to share what they have written with the class. This is an excellent way to inspire other authors through original uses of language, interesting ideas, and unique observations that are shared through peer writing.
It is recommended that authors wait at least a day before revisiting a piece of writing in a conference, to allow time for perspective on what has been written. The writing conference is a dynamic way to receive feedback on an author's first draft.
Writing a First Draft by
ABCs of the Writing Process
Writer's Workshop: Making Writing a Life-Long Habit for Elementary Students
Establishing a Writing Workshop Classroom for English Language Learners
Four Blocks Literacy