Writers Workshop Conferencing
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  • 1. Writer’s Workshop The Conference November 2013 Research: One to One by Calkins, Hartman, White The Writing Workshop by Ray, Laminack How’s it Going by Carl Anderson
  • 2. Conferencing Thoughts “I am always impressed by teachers who know enough about the teaching of writing to be concerned about how to conduct more effective writing conferences,” Lucy Calkins. “Conferring can be so hard. Like any uniquely human interaction, in a conference there is always the possibility that something totally unexpected might happen,” Katie Wood Ray
  • 3. Length & Frequency of Conferences 2-7 minutes Try to get to each student once a week. “On any given day, our goal should be to have as many quality conferences as we can with as many students as we can,” Katie Wood Ray.
  • 4. The Four Parts Research: Find out how the student’s writing is going Decide: What would make sense to teach the student? Teach: Teach an on the spot, individualized focus lesson Record: Jot down notes of essential content
  • 5. Part 1: Research Recall what we already know about the child as a writer Glance at and quickly read what the child is writing Observe the child at work without interrupting Ask questions and probe to explore the child’s answers
  • 6. Part 1: Research Possible Questions: What are you working on as a writer? Can you tell me what you’re working on? What’s your plan for writing time today? What do you need help with today? Tell me about how your writing is going.
  • 7. Part 1: Research “Keep in mind that your goal is to learn enough to discern what the writer is trying to do, able to do, and not quite doing,” Calkins.
  • 8. Part 2: Decide “But what makes a conference a powerful teaching interaction is not finding the best thing in the world to teach this student; it’s in teaching in direct response to something the student has told us or shown us about his/her work as a writer. So as soon as we see a way to go with the teaching, we head it in that direction,” Katie Wood Ray.
  • 9. Part 2: Decide Use your “fistful” of knowledge... What would help most at this time? What would bring quick success? What would be a stretch, risk, or challenge? What is not likely to come up in whole class instruction? What would the student like help with? TEACH TOWARD INDEPENDENCE!
  • 10. Part 2: Decide COMPLIMENT THE STUDENT, THEN TEACH! What has the writer done well that you can compliment and reinforce?
  • 11. Part 3: Teach HOW WILL YOU TEACH? Demonstrate Guided Practice Explain and show an example
  • 12. Part 3: Teach What strategy did they learn today that they can apply on another day in another piece? Ask the student: “Say back to me what I just talked to you about.”
  • 13. Part 4: Make a Record Tell the student, “Ok, so what I’m going to write down is...” Summarize the lesson Have to find a system that is comfortable for you, or it won’t be used Should be a way to divide records easily by individual students
  • 14. Reflecting on Note-Taking What, exactly, did I teach in that conference? Why did I decide to teach that? How does the student seem to feel about the conference?
  • 15. Tech Ideas for Conference Notes
  • 16. Penultimate App iPad App iTunes Store Write with a stylus Keep a notebook on each student Notes backup online with an Evernote account Create an account here
  • 17. Other Apps Notability iTunes App Note Anytime iTunes App Record audio Notes Write with a stylus Keep a notebook on each student
  • 18. Google Forms Create a Form Save link to access easily Populates data into spreadsheet for you Basic Example
  • 19. Google Spreadsheet Skip the Google Form Idea Use a spreadsheet with all students listed Search the sheet with Command + F Basic Example
  • 20. Google Docs Skip the Form and Spreadsheet Idea Use a word processing document to track conferences Use Command + F to find specific notes Basic Example