Lisa (comment #47),
You asked if I use many worksheets in my classroom. The answer, for the most part, is no. In math, my students do use a math journal that is part of our program, but in reading and writing workshops I tend to stay away from worksheets. I feel like they often limit students' creativity and restrict their personal thoughts. Completing "fill in the blank" answers keeps students from truly elaborating on their thoughts and makes my teaching feel too prescribed.
I do, however, use graphic organizers in reading workshop at times. There are days when I want to assess my students' work, and a bunch of sticky notes in their books is not always a useful way to see if they understood a concept I taught in reading workshop. Perhaps you could use some generic types of worksheets like t-charts, Venn diagrams, etc. that students would be able to complete but would still allow them to record own ideas (not worksheets where there is one right answer).
I hope I've been of some help!
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