How to conduct writing conferences with students


  • Encourage students to write down specifics that emerge from your conversation: ideas, plans for revisions, clarifications, rough thesis statements, outlines . . . . …
  • Make your advice as specific as possible, and check that students are understanding what you’re saying.
  • Offer specific praise whenever you can. And offer lots of encouragement–writers need it!
  • Require follow-up conferences for the few students who need more individual attention from you.
  • Learn to make effective referrals to the Writing Center.

Part of a video titled Conducting an Effective Student Writing Conference - YouTube

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What do you do at a writing conference?

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How to get students excited about writing?

  • Current Event Assignments – Have students choose an article that interests them and write a short response. …
  • Engage in a Friendly Classroom Debate – Present an article to your class and then divide them into teams. …
  • Use an Article as a Writing Prompt – Choose an article that will get your students’ creative juices flowing. …

How to develop creative writing among students?

The initial discussion among students about what might freeze fosters skills such as advocating for one’s ideas and compromising. The follow-up discussion encourages deductive reasoning and active listening. 4. Remove constraints for creativity and give the students space and a framework in which they can be creative.

How to support dual language students with writing?

Writing Instruction for ELLs

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  • Research and Reports

What makes a good writing conference?

Speak in a conversational tone. Tone is the foundation of the good relationships you want to develop with students over the course of the school year. Speaking in a warm, friendly manner puts students at ease and makes it more likely they will talk with you about what they’re trying to do as writers.

What is a writing conference with students?

The goal of a writing conference is to teach students something about writing that they can use in the future. If you add to students’ writing repertoires in every conference, they become better writers over time. It’s important that you teach students about one aspect of writing in each conference.

What are the four parts of a writing conference?

The workshop setting supports children in taking their writing seriously and viewing themselves as writers. The four main components of writing workshop are the mini-lesson, status of the class, writing/conferring time, and sharing.

How do you engage students in writing?

The following tips can help improve your class’ engagement in writing, and help them to produce great written work.Build vocabulary. … Mix up your writing assignments. … Make sure the tasks are culturally relevant and applicable to real life. … Try using peer review. … Get your timing right. … Have less-specific requirements.

What is the writing process steps?

Writing is a process that involves at least four distinct steps: prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing. It is known as a recursive process. While you are revising, you might have to return to the prewriting step to develop and expand your ideas.

What is a writing workshop in the classroom?

Writing Workshop is an instructional practice designed to help children become confident and capable writers. During Writing Workshop, children have time to work independently and with their peers. They engage in the writing process by selecting topics, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing their original work.

How do I host a creative writing workshop?

7 Steps to a Great Writing WorkshopStep 1: Set up a writing workshop framework. … Step 2: Be a writer! … Step 3: Create a writing community. … Step 4: Provide many models and topic choices. … Step 5: Let students work at their own pace. … Step 6: Invite peer responses. … Step 7: Offer your support.

How long should a writing conference be?

A “typical” conference usually lasts 4-5 minutes for me. (Use a timer! This has really helped me stay on track during conferences!) If your independent writing time is about 25 minutes long, then you might get through 4, maybe 5 students each day.

Why are writing conferences important?

Writing conferences provide an individualized approach to building student writing skills that focus primarily on the student as a writer and the piece in relation to student-determined goals.

What are the 7 strategies of writing?

To improve students’ reading comprehension, teachers should introduce the seven cognitive strategies of effective readers: activating, inferring, monitoring-clarifying, questioning, searching-selecting, summarizing, and visualizing-organizing.

What are 3 writing strategies?

3 Prewriting Strategies for Any Writing ProjectFreewriting.Clustering.Outlining.

What are the examples of writing activities?

Here are several writing activities that my students have really enjoyed.Journaling for Beginners. For this activity, you’ll need to provide a journal. … Cards & Letters. … Fill in the Story. … Drawing Words. … Birthday Messages. … Cut Out My Name. … Chalkboard Writing. … Write A Choose Your Own Adventure.More items…

What is the meaning of the word conferencing?

Definition of conferencing : the holding of conferences especially by means of an electronic communications system computer conferencing.

What is a mentor text?

Mentor texts are pieces of literature that you — both teacher and student — can return to and reread for many different purposes. They are texts to be studied and imitated … Mentor texts help students to take risks and be different writers tomorrow than they are today.

How does inquiry based learning work?

Inquiry-based learning is a learning process that engages students by making real-world connections through exploration and high-level questioning. It is an approach to learning that encourages students to engage in problem-solving and experiential learning.

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What is a blended approach to reading and writing?

Here’s a resource on Reading and Writing Conferences: A Blended Approach that includes a short video on conferences as well as the organization, assessment, and communication with parents about writing. See example >

What are the characteristics of a successful writing conference?

Donald Graves (1982) identified six characteristics of successful writing conferences. Conferences should: (1) have a predictable structure; (2) focus on a few points; (3) demonstrate solutions to students’ problems; (4) permit role reversals; (5) encourage use of a vocabulary appropriate for writing; and (6) stimulate pleasure in writing.

What is writing conference?

Writing Conferences. Research on the writing process suggests that writers learn the most about writing when they share and reflect on their writing. In classrooms, this is most commonly done through writing conferences as part of the revision stage. Whether they occur with pairs, with small groups, or with the teacher, …

What are the three writing activities that are particularly beneficial for multilingual learners?

Fitzgerald and Amendum, in their chapter from the Graham book below, suggest three writing activities that are particularly beneficial for multilingual learners – Daily News, dialogue journals, and writing persuasive essays using a mnemonic device.

What is a peer review?

They involve a non-threatening audience of peers. Peers or teacher can provide immediate feedback or can immediately ask for clarifications. They can promote positive attitudes about writing and increased motivation to revise. Students experience a wide range of writing abilities and topics.

How do teachers have the most success?

Teachers will have the most success if they model conference behaviors with the whole class. Class discussions can focus on what sorts of comments and actions are useful and constructive, and what sorts of behaviors are less helpful to the author sharing his or her work. Some teachers decide to create very focused conferences, …


If we are working with a student, that leaves twenty-odd other students we aren’t working with. We’ve got to be able to depend on them to still be productive so we can focus on helping the student we are with, without distractions or interruptions.


Now that our independent writing time is conducive to meeting with students one-to-one, let’s dig into that writing conference itself. It is absolutely unreasonable to consistently hold 8-minute writing conferences… 5-minute writing conferences are tough, too… and so are 4-minute writing conferences.


Two-minute writing conferences may be the main interaction we have with our student writers during independent writing time, but it’s not the only type we can have.


So how do we meld together all these types of interactions during independent writing? Let’s use our two-minute one-to-one writing conferences as our foundation. And let’s look at our writing strategy groups as running parallel–we’re forming those groups based on our one-to-one conferences.

Benefits of Conferencing

Conferencing is a tried and true pedagogical approach.

Tips and Strategies for Conferencing

Set the stage for effective and engaging conferences.
Because students may be unaccustomed to one-on-one discussions of their own work, instructors should describe the purpose and expectations for a conference in their course syllabus and provide helpful guidelines.

Challenges and Potential Solutions

While conferences can provide significant educational benefits, there are some possible challenges as well. Here are a few key concerns and potential solutions:

Before the Conferences

Prior to meeting with my students, I quickly read their essays, making no marks on the papers and instead recording three things in my own notes: a score from the rubric I was using for the essay, one aspect of the writing task the student did well, and one aspect the student needed to work on.

During the Conferences

While students worked on a long-term project that was due at the end of the week, I met with each one individually for five minutes.

After the Conferences

I gave students a due date for submitting their revised essays, and we debriefed as a class about the conference process. Students said unequivocally that they had learned far more from discussing their writing for five minutes than they ever had from the comments I wrote on their papers.

Why This Activity Is Worth Your Class Time

Because my classes average around 30 students, this activity was a substantial time commitment. It took three full class periods of 55 minutes, and quite a bit of my own focused energy, to conference with each student. The benefits were definitely worth the cost.

What does Shelley Harwayne want to learn from students?

Through them students learn to interact with their own writing. “. Shelley Harwayne (2001) has four guidelines regarding her goals and what she wants to learn from student writers that she keeps in mind as she conducts her conferences: Find out how students feel about being asked to write.

How long is a conference in writing?

Individual conferences generally are short, about two to five minutes, and occur while the other students are involved in their own independent writing projects. One of the primary purposes …

What is a writing conference?

Writing Conferences. The writing conference is a one-on-one strategy, that takes place between the student writer and the teacher.

What if you conferred with every student?

When I start my year, (if I am being honest), I don’t actually meet with the students immediately. I need to teach the skill. If you don’t teach the skill, how will they know what to do? I spend about 20 days teaching how to respond to reading. Once the students actually start writing independently, I ready to host some writing conferences.

What can you do?

I completely understand that creating your own questions can be insanely hard…especially if you don’t know where to start. You also may not know what kind of questions to even ask. Lucky for you- I have questions created for you. You can check them out in my store. You can also check out this book by Jennifer Serravallo.

Get your free Writing Conference Form!

Download a FREE Writing Conference form to kick start your writing conferences.

What are the benefits of writing conferences?

Benefits of the Writing Conference strategy: 1 It provides immediate feedback 2 It creates a positive attitude among students towards writing and motivates them to improve their work 3 It structures the teaching process around the student’s skill level and understanding 4 It addresses and improves writing skills including the process of writing

What is professional learning board?

Professional Learning Board is a leading provider of online professional development classes that teachers use to renew a teaching license or renew a teaching certificate.

How can teachers model new strategies?

During the workshops, teachers can model new strategies by analyzing their own work, using the “think aloud strategy.”. In doing so, teachers can both familiarize and empower students with the mode of questioning, enabling them to critically appraise their own work.

Why is it important to use conversational style in writing?

Using a conversational style in each conference, the teacher can gain insight into the student’s thought process. It will also help the teacher decide where the student should advance to in terms of his/her writing. It is important to note that questions should be tailor made, as each student is different.

What is a conference record?

A record of the conference is to be maintained for each student. One can take note of the skills or phases addressed, tips and ideas suggested and the outcome of the conference in these records. A checklist can also be maintained to ensure that a conference has been conducted with every student and that a uniform set of topics has been addressed …

Can a teacher call students to their desk for a conference?

Typically it is best to have the class work independently at their desks while the teacher calls one student at a time to their desk for a conference. As the conferences are held during various phases of writing, the skills and the phases required for writing can be worked on, along with the application of various writing strategies and tips.


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