Lately I’ve been thinking about how I really want to improve talk throughout my workshop time. Talking at the beginning and end of workshop are so important, but I really want to put a focus on setting aside time for peers to check in with each other consistently and not just on the fly, but with intention. Here is my plan to make that happen.
1. Set up a safe environment.
This may feel like an obvious one, but it is still at the top of my list. We have to remember that students will only share when they feel they are in an environment that cares about what they have to say.
2. Create a chart together outlining expectations.
3. Set aside a sacred space.
I’d like to have a special spot in the room for this partner check-in to take place. A sacred spot in the room that students can go when they need a sounding board or a fresh ear.
I want to be sure that the partner check-in is flexible while not interfering with the process. I hope students will be able to flex in and out of the space with refreshed ideas.
I plan on showing this video of a peer conference to give students an idea of what a partner check-in might sound like. This example shows the back and forth conversation between two students while they are in the middle of a piece of writing.
Do you allow students to check in with peers during the writing process? What types of procedures have you put in place to make it successful?
I hope you will think about trying to incorporate more talk throughout the workshop to encourage thinking and reflection as students work through a piece.
On another note…
I’ll be presenting at Byron Center’s Literacy Conference in Michigan August 11-12! Will I see you? It should be a wonderful conference and a great opportunity to connect and collaborate!
Update: Here is the flyer for the conference. I believe you can register onsite, but I am not positive.