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Writing Conferences September 26, 2007

clownIt’s that time of the  year when I start conferencing with my students on their writing. So far my students have been drafting their personal narratives. Of course the next step is to have a teacher conference. Yesterday and today, I spent time conferring with students. I use the system of taking a number and waiting your turn. Sometimes I go to the students and sometimes they come to me. When they wait, they are to work on writing of choice, read a book, or work on some other assignment.  This doesn’t always work because my attention is focused with the conferring student wherever I am in the room. The class catches on to this and notice that I am not paying attention to them, so I have a little clowning around. What can I do to make this more successful? Any suggestions would be helpful.

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7 Responses to “Writing Conferences”

  1. aredden Says:

    Have you read The Daily Five? It is all about teaching the kids to be independent and take responsibility of how they spend their time. It sounds like they are depending too much on you.

  2. hey2blondie Says:

    I will have to read it!

  3. Eva Says:

    I work from the center of the room, and this seems to help because it reduces the teacher-student distance.

  4. Stacey Says:

    I like to bop around and go to kids who are working. Also, the kids around the student I’m conferring with always land up listening to our conference so that they get some of the teaching out of it too.

  5. Ruth Says:

    I wonder if you would initiate the conferences, instead of the students if that would help with management. This way, they wouldn’t know when you were going to sit next to them for a conference . . . so they will be compelled the work. (Like the use of compelled? 🙂 ) Plus it sends the message that the students are responsible for continuiing their own writing process without the teacher telling them what to do next.

    Like Stacey, I always bounce around the room too. This way every 4 minutes or so (between conferences) I’m monitoring the classroom. Plus, they lose track of me because I blend in with the students when I’m conferring next to them.

    Is The Daily Five geared toward primary grades? My first thought of a resource was Carl Anderson’s book How’s It Going . . . maybe you’ll want to listen to a session of his at NCTE. He makes conferring practical and gives common sense ideas that can be applied immediately. I think he has a chapter in How’s it Going called “What about all the other kids?” or something like that. It’s all about setting structures/procedures that will make conferring possible.

    I’d love to hear an update on how it’s going. 🙂

    • Marina Thomson Says:

      Hi… If their rough draft is done they must first proofread- call the COPS (capitals, organization, punctuation, spelling) using a red pen on their own and then have a partner do it too in a different color, or I provide them with a sheet of paper to create a representing picture of their writing , or sometimes they may have to draw or copy / paste(on the computer) appropriate pictures for their whole story….or they can even make something a small project
      to show the story… these keep them busy till they come to the peer editing table to conference with me and a couple of peers

  6. hey2blondie Says:

    I will try this! Thanks 🙂


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