Category Archive: conferring

Putting the Large Stones In First: A September Check-In

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Nervously lowering myself into a chair, I scooted myself closer to the table.  Around me sat three new colleagues.  My new 7th grade teaching team.  Having moved from my familiar home in small-town… Continue reading

A Closer Look: Learning About Our Writers with Formative Assessment

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Sound assessment plays a vital role in showing and in detailing progress students are making toward reasonable goals.

Conferring: Writing Workshop Fundamentals

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“Lift the ball with your right hand, and pretend your right knee is tied to your right elbow.”  Placing the orange ball uncertainly in my right hand, I glanced over at Mr. Brown,… Continue reading

Feedback That Moves Writers Forward: Review and Giveaway

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Feedback That Moves Writers Forward: How to Escape Correcting Mode To Transform Student Writing, written by Patty McGee, is a must-read for educators who know we can do far better for students when it comes to talking with them about their writing.

Changing Tack: Learning from a Writing Conference

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It’s great to be prepared when we are conferring with our writers. However, being ‘prepared’ and being ‘present’ are not the same thing…

Know When to Step Away

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Even when we know what’s best, sometimes the most helpful thing we can do for a child is to let them figure out a problem on their own.

On the Pitfalls of Hiding Out

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Sometimes in a busy and chaotic schedule, we inadvertently miss attending to some of our students who like to “fly under the radar.” Being systematic and intentionally positive can make a big difference for some of our writers.

Don’t Forget the Compliment

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Lanny Ball reminds us that compliments are a bit like gifts we give our students each day.

Conferring with “If… Then… Then… Then…” in Mind

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We can all be a little more like my daughter’s swim teacher, Coach Annie, and a little less like the camp counselors of my childhood. Here’s how.

Conferring Tip: Listening Closely

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A wise person once told me, conferring is the heart of the writing workshop. And much has been written about how to go about conferring effectively. Guides and professional books abound, videos, websites… Continue reading

A Writing Conference with an English Language Learner Using Google Translate

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Read on for a snippet of a writing conference using Google Translate with an upper elementary student who is learning English.

Red Dot Side, Green Dot Side, Revisited

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With very good intentions, we teach kids to do their best to really finish a story before they move on to the next one. However, a little bit of flexibility will go a long way in increasing engagement, volume, and independence in young writers.

Finding Our Teacher of Writers Superpowers

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What teacher of writers superpower would you like to develop this year?

Why Confer?

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Six educators make the case for conferring with students regularly.

ICYMI: The EdCollab Gathering

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Take a peek at our presentation from Saturday at #theedcollabgathering.

EdCollab Gathering

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Four of us will present at The Educator Collaborative Spring Gathering tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.

Five Words to Get You Started with Conferring

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Keep this conferring tip in your back pocket.

Writing Workshop Feels Better with Less

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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.

Conferring with Writers is Like Coaching Skiers: Strength ID and Enhancement

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Many years ago, one of my first jobs was as a ski instructor at a local ski resort. During our instructor training, we were taught a technique called “strength identification and enhancement.”

Teaching Students to Get Better at Conferring

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Teachers aren’t the only ones who can learn to get better at conferring. So can students!