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Teacher and Peer Conferences September 30, 2011

Filed under: conferring with students,editing,revising,thoughts — hey2blondie @ 9:56 am

I have to admit that I struggle with teacher conferences and peer conferences are another story. I like to do them, but sometimes I feel that I am not benefiting my students. Since now I am in 5th grade I have come to realize that I must model more often so the students can see what they are “supposed” to do. I decided to come up with a very short power point on peer conferencing. I found a video clip on unitedstreaming.com of two boys conferencing. I showed it to my students and the magic happened when it was time for my students to conference with a peer.

Before the students conferenced, I gave them a writer’s checklist for conferencing that I found on the internet. I found the perfect checklist for my students and myself. Check it out! What I loved about this checklist is that it had a place for the student to write down if they wanted a teacher conference and what 2 specific things they wanted me to look at.

Every year I have students say, “read this.” I hated that. With this form I had successful teacher conferences. Also there are other forms you can use to help with the teacher conference.

I look forward to reading my 5th graders’ personal narratives.


Peer Responding October 21, 2010

Last weekend I attended our writing project’s writing retreat called WOW (Writing On Water). It’s a time for us to get together and write. This year we wrote teaching stories and one point during the retreat we had a peer response session. Each person read some part of their piece while the rest of the group listened and responded on post-it-notes. After the read aloud, we placed our post-its on a sheet of paper with the person’s name on them. I enjoyed reading all of the comments my fellow teacher consultants wrote.

I decided that I wanted to bring this to my classroom, so today my seventh graders peer responded in this manner. Instead of the whole class reading, I placed students into groups of 6. Before the students responded, I asked them to write a praise and write in question form something that may be confusing or need of revising. As my students read and responded, I traveled around the room and responded to those students I heard read. After the read aloud, I passed out a colored sheet of paper so they could place their post-its on it. Tomorrow my students will be turning in their writing of choice piece with those post-its.

I look forward to reading how they responded to each other. I am curious to see what they wrote. I did poll my classes to see if they liked this way of responding. Some did like it and others did not. One student said that she didn’t like sharing in front of everyone.





Peer Revision June 30, 2010

Last week my coworker had our writing campers peer revise. She had each student paste their writing on a large sheet of construction paper. Students were then advised to go around the room and revise each others’ papers by writing comments on the construction paper next to their work. The students enjoyed reading what everyone had written on their papers.

This week I have been facilitating a writing camp at my school. I have 6 lucky students to be involved with writing. Each day they have left with smiles on their faces. We have written several pieces. Today I taught my students the STAR strategy I blogged about last week. I also used Nancie Atwell’s spider leg technique; however, I changed it up a little. I first had each individual find 2 places (2 legs) where they could use STAR in their writing. After each student added 2 legs, I passed out 2 lime green “legs” to each student. They were to go around the room and add “legs” to their peers’ papers. I heard the comment that I should use this technique in school this year, and I will!


STAR: a way to revise June 22, 2010

This week I am teaching at a summer writing camp in Martin, TN, which is affiliated with the West Tennessee Writing Project. The students have been writing stories using the Harris Burdick poster series. One of my co-workers had the students answer questions to create a round and dynamic character. After creating their character,  the students were to choose a plot, which was a poster from the Harris Burdick series. We had the students write their story using the character questions and poster.

Today, for my mini-lesson on revision, I used Kelley Gallagher’s idea on revision. He uses the acronym STAR. Below is the meaning of star:


Take things out



As a group we brainstormed ways to use STAR in our writing. After brainstorming and discussing how to implement star, I brought in Nancie Atwell’s revision idea of spider legs. The main concept is to add “legs” (revisions) to your writing. We made a spider head and pasted it to the top of the writing. I modeled to my students where I would place each “leg” in my writing. Soon the students were revising. This was a good opportunity to share our revisions too.


Dog Days June 10, 2008

Filed under: editing,etheree,revising,wn entry — hey2blondie @ 7:09 pm
Tags: , , ,


Days of

My summer

Slowly evolve

With lazy escapes

Under the sunny skies

Sun-kissed skin glistening bright

Afternoons quickly rush evenings

Of buzzing, chirping, and nightly sounds

Bringing contentment close to you daily


I wrote this etheree today at our annual writing marathon for The West Tennessee Writing Project. It was fun getting into groups and writing. I got to meet new people and it was invigoratingto my writing needs. I just love writing etherees because they force you to use good, concise words. They also make you edit and revise. I think students writing etherees would be a good first step to editing and revising their work because they have to choose what works best for them. My first draft of this poem wasn’t perfect the first time writing it. If my scanner was working, I would show you my revisions. I plan on doing more modeling of revision and editing for my students.


The End for Now May 27, 2008

The 2007-2008 school year is over! Last Friday was the last day of school. It went by so fast this year, but I am glad it’s over. I am ready for some R & R. The only thing about the end of the year is the process of packing up everything. At my school we have to take everything off of the walls and store it. It’s a daunting task, but I guess it’s a good thing because you start the next year off fresh.

This summer I am looking forward to reading literature about writer’s notebooks and how to implement them better. I will be attending an advanced institute where I’ll be researching more of my inquiries. Right now I am thinking of the following questions:

How can I better implement a writer’s notebook into my writer’s workshop?

How can I use a writer’s notebook to model and teach revision and editing?

If you have any ideas, I would love to hear about them on either topic… 


Pure Comfort February 10, 2008

What better food to give you pure comfort—mac-n-cheese & a Coke.

mac coke 

I wrote a description of my pure comfort and tomorrow I plan on teaching a mini-lesson on editing. (PURE COMFORT DESCRIPTION) I have errors because I want my students to pick up on them. I notice they have problems indenting, so I am going to discuss that too. They will be given a rubric and we are going to discuss each component on the rubric to see if I met them. (of course I didn’t) My students don’t like to revise, so I am going to model revising as well. I hope it goes well.