PeerConferencesClick the next button tolearn how to peerconference.
What is a Peer Conference?A peer conference is commonly usedin writing. Students listen to oneanother and give helpful, positivecomments about their writing.Give usefulcomments to thewriterFocus on thewriting, not thewriterPay attention anddiscuss specificsFocus discussion onwhat writers are doingafterschoolUse non-specificcommentslike, “Good job.”Be rude to orignore your partnerClick on the check marks to seethe “do‟s” for a conference, andthe X‟s to see the “do not‟s” witha peer conference.
You now know some generalcharacteristics of peer conferencing.It’s as “Easy as PIE”.P – Praise the paperI – Interesting questionsE – Encouraging Advice
This is an example of an effective peer conference.Liz – You really painted a picture in my mind when youused the simile, “He stood there like a frightenedchild at the end of a diving board.” (Praise the paper.)Jack – Really? Thanks.Liz – What do you think is the strongest part of yourstory? (Interesting questions.)Jack – I‟m not sure. Maybe the beginning where Istarted right in the action.Liz – Could you add more details of how he fixed themisunderstanding with his dad? (Encouraging advice.)Jack – Oh yeah. I forgot I was going to go back andadd some internal dialogue at that part. Thanks forthe reminder.As you can see, Liz made her peer conference as “Easyas PIE”. She was specific, positive, and helpful.
P – Praise the paperThe first step is the P of PIE.Below are three examples of what students couldsay in a peer conference. Click on the text you thinkis a good example of P – Praise the paper.“I like the part when Bobslipped on the stairs.”“I like the color of your shirt. Itmatches your socks.”“You used some great words. I likedgigantic rather than big.”Yes! This is specific andfocused on the writing.No. This is a comment thatis focused on the writer, notthe writing.Excellent! The praise isspecific about the wordsused in the writing.
I – Interesting questionsBelow are three examples of what students couldsay in a peer conference. Click on the text you thinkis a good example of I – Interesting questions.“Why did you do your hairlike that?”“How did you get yourpicture?”“What transition words didyou use to signal sequenceof events?”No! This does not focus onthe topic. It can also hurtfeelings.Nope. This is about a part of thewriting, but does not really helpthe writer improve his or herwriting.Yes! This is specific andfocused on the writing. Itwill help the writing makemore sense.The second step is the I of PIE.
The third step is the E of PIE.E – Encouraging AdviceBelow are three examples of what students couldsay in a peer conference. Click on the text you thinkis a good example of E – Encouraging advice.“Could you use a differentword than „then‟? It occursa lot in your story.No. This is neither encouragingor specific. Keep it positive.“Could you explain in moredetail what Fred said to hismom?”“Your closing is really bad.You should fix it.”You got it! This offersencouraging advice that isspecific to the writing.Great! This comment is positivewould help make the storybetter.
Putting all the PIE together.Pick the effective peer conference below.Greg - Did you see whathappened with Mr. Dillontoday?Mike – Yeah, I know. He gotpretty mad.Greg – Man, I‟m starving.What‟s for lunch?Mike – I don‟t know, but herecomes Mr. Tate.Greg – So, um, I like your story.It was pretty awesome.Mike – Thanks.Greg – Your font is ridiculous.Mike – Ha ha. I meant to dothat.Nate – Your writing made mefeel nervous, especially whenthey were going into the cave.David – Wow. I really scaredyou?Nate – Yep. I was confused withyour conclusion. How did it gowith the rest of the text?David – I guess you‟re right. Ineed to revise that.Nate – Could you add moretransition words? It seems tojump from scene to scene.David – Oh, okay. Thanks forthe tip.Uh oh. Greg and Mike did nothave an effective peerconference because they werenot focused on the task. Theinput Greg did give to Mike wasnot specific or positive. Therewas Praise, it was not specific.Greg also did not use anyinteresting questions or giveencouraging advice. Mike‟spaper is probably not going toget any better after thisconference.Well done! Nate and David hadan effective peer conference.Nate was focused on the taskand followed PIE. He praisedthe paper, asked an interestingquestion, and had encouragingadvice. Nate waspositive, specific, and helpful.David‟s paper will most likelybe better after conferencingwith Nate.
Putting all the PIE together.Pick the effective peer conference below.Mary – I like the part where the ogre smashes the door down.Jane – Yep. Me too.Mary – Are there some boring words that can be changed? Youused „ran‟ a lot.Jane – I guess I could change a few of them.Mary – You should change the font. It looks ugly.Jane – Whatever.Susan – I like the way you described the forest. I could reallyvisualize it.Tammy – Thanks. I had fun picking the words.Susan – Does the organization make sense.Tammy – Hmm. No. I think it would be better if I moved thisparagraph.Susan – Do you need a lead that hooks?Jane – I guess I could ask a question to start, rather thanstating my thesis right away.Not quite. Although Mary did pretty well with the Praise andInteresting question, she failed to give Encouraging advice.Her comments were mostly helpful and specific, but theyneed to be positive too.Correct! Susan did a nice job helping Tammy. Susan followedPIE by offering Praise, an Interesting question, andEncouraging advice. Her feedback was positive, specific, andhelpful. Tammy should be able to make some nice revisionsafter conferencing with Susan.
Kellie – What do you think is the weakestpart of the writing?Amy – Probably my dialogue. I used „said‟a lot.Kellie – Could you explain in more detailhow your character felt when his dog ranaway?Amy – Sure. I didn‟t think to add anyinternal dialogue there.Kellie – Your writing reminded me of anexperience I had working with my friendsto solve a problem. You did a great job.Jed – So what did you think about my writing?Wendy – You did a nice job. I liked your details.Jed – Okay. What else?Wendy – Well, do you have any more facts?Jed – I‟ll have to look through my notes.Wendy – Maybe you could bold your headings.Jed – Sounds good. Thanks Vicky.Wendy – No problem.Putting all thePIE together.Pick theeffective peerconference.Nice work. Kellie may have started with the I inPIE, but she still covered all of the parts. She washelpful, positive, and specific. Amy simply needsto revise and her paper should be better becauseof her conference with Kellie.Almost. Wendy did all the pieces ofPIE, but she was not very specific. Hercomments to Jed were general andprobably will not help improve his paper.Wendy needs to share ideas that Jed canapply, not just go through PIE to completethe conference.
Reminder:After doing an effective peerconference, students are expected torevise.Click the pie pictures below to see how totake the input from a peer conference andrevise with PIE.Students should keep doing what was Praised.Interesting questions should be answered or fixed.Details or changes should be made tomatch the Encouraging advice.
Resources:Murphy, D. (2012). Practical strategies for meeting the rigorous common core statestandards for writing (Grades 3-5). Medina, WA: Institute for Educational Development.On your next peerconference, makeit as “Easy as PIE”