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Conference Roles

I like to think of a writing conference as a conversation. Just like many common conversations, there is a predictable structure to the writing conference. I think it’s important for us to teach students about their role and our role in a conference. Tomorrow I have plan to do this in second grade (as I model for almost 20 teachers).

Here is my plan for a chart:

Student Role:

  • Share your current writing work.
  • Tell me what you’re doing as a writer.
  • Tell me what you’re thinking as you work.
  • Try new things as a writer.
Teacher Role:
  • Listen.
  • Ask questions about your writing work.
  • Tell you what you’re doing well as a writer.
  • Help you do something new as a writer.
  • Check back with you to see how the new work is going.
I’ll teach this by modeling this work with a student so the rest of the class can see how a writing conference unfolds. When students learn the predictable structure of a writing conference, then it goes more smoothly. When everyone knows the purpose of a conversation it goes smoother and more efficiently. When this happens, then we lift the level of our conferences. If you’ve not given this type of minilesson, then I encourage you to make a plan to share the purpose and structure with your students. Let me know how it goes. 🙂



Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

6 thoughts on “Conference Roles Leave a comment

  1. I’m teaching this lesson with my first graders this week. So glad to have your take on this. Would love to hear how it goes with all the second graders. 🙂


  2. This chart is very helpful! I plan on sharing it with my students, to help my fifth graders understand more clearly about their role during a conference. Thanks for sharing with us!
    –Jee Young


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