Do you use a writer's workshop approach or assign the topics and have specific due dates? I have gone between the two for years and can't seem to figure out a great match. I have some great writers and some very developing writers-so I don't want to hold the others up, but I also need them to practice different genres of writing to prepare them for Middle School and beyond. Also, if you do provide a time line for the students, how long do you generally allow for a piece from brainstorming to final copy? Do you send any or all of it home?