Skip to content


Top Three Predictable, Beginning of Year Conferences: Our Favorite Things

My favorite conferences are all closely connected to my beliefs about writing instruction. The teaching points in each conference are ideas I want to be front and center for kids as we co-construct the workshop and community we will live and play in over the coming months (at any grade level). 

Tips for Getting the Most out of a Literacy Conference: Strengthening Professional Learning

Professional conferences are an excellent way to increase your knowledge and can fuel your enthusiasm for teaching. If you’re new to attending conferences — or just want some tips to help you maximize your enjoyment as a conference-goer — then this post is for you!

Writing Conferences: What to Do When a Writer Doesn’t Say Much?

When conferring with a writer, our big aim is to engage in a meaningful conversation with the student about his or her writing.  An individual writing conference is likely the single most effective way for a teacher to help move a writer forward. But many times, even with our best intentions and attempts at “training” students how to converse during a conference, the student will sometimes say something curt, like, “Good.”  Or, “It’s fine.”  Silence.  That’s it.  That’s all they have to say. What to do?  Fear not!  Conferring Carl suggests six strategies to help teachers address this situation…

Writing Workshop Feels Better with Less

Our workshop was feeling forced, unnatural, and just rushed! We struggled to fit it all in and share time (the most valued time) was cut short with only 1 or 2 writers sharing each day. Something had to give. Writers weren’t growing, I wasn’t conferring, and it just didn’t feel calm and productive. I reflected on our workshop, the work of the writers, and the choices I was making, but I couldn’t figure out what was making me feel so unsettled.

From Telling Stories to Writing Stories- It’s all in respecting the process

I pause to listen to these stories (as best as I can in classroom of 27 six-year-olds, each with a story to share). After they’ve shared their story I comment, “I can’t wait to read that story!” or “Wow, you already have an idea for writing workshop!” Some walk away shaking their heads, eager to write their story, others look at me puzzled as if they aren’t sure why I would say this when they just told me the story. (I often wonder if they’re thinking, “Weren’t you listening?”).