There’s no question it is challenging to get to know writers deeply via Zoom. And yet. . . something is working, because all of my remote kindergartners are writing. They are all making books. And while I might not have an hour each day to be side by side with them in the classroom, there is no question I am finding ways to get to know what kind of writers they are and what they need.
As I considered what to write this week, I decided to share a piece I was crafting for back to school, as an instructional coach/remote kindergarten teacher this year. The process helped me to focus on what families might need, as they experience writing workshop in new ways (i.e. at their kitchen tables).
One of the many changes brought about by the pandemic, whether we are returning to school in-person or remotely, is the ability to gather together in close proximity to learn and write together. I have been thinking a lot about this: How might we as teachers replicate or create the emotionally safe space normally held by a warm, close classroom in a digital space?
If your fall instruction plan includes any kind of virtual teaching, then building and maintaining relationships will be more crucial than ever. In order to engage and motivate students, educators must work to genuinely connect with students before focusing on academics.
Taking a Little Dip Back into Tried and True Teaching: Simple Ways to Embrace the Writing Conference During Virtual Learning
When the world of education suddenly shifted, so did our teaching practices. Some of us might be ready to start bringing back some of the teaching structures we replied on in the classroom. This will offer some quick practical ways we might bring back parts of the traditional writing conference during virtual learning.
With the volume of students most middle school writing teachers serve, how is one to plan for differentiation? Using a basketball analogy, here is one play you can run…
A clear teaching point helps students understand the work, and makes your conference more memorable. A concisely stated teaching point is also is a tool for keeping your conference focused and effective.
Even if you were somebody who enjoyed your teachers’ written comments or corrections on your papers, there are some solid reasons to consider not writing on your students’ work.
I’ve been trying to improve my own skills as I sit down next to writers throughout my years of teaching writing, and there is so much more to conferring than the three ideas that I’m sharing in this post.
Crafting a system for conferring notes can be a catch-all of sorts, a strategy for ensuring that teammates engage in the highest leverage instructional conversations before the unit begins—even if they haven’t had extended time to unit plan together.
Specific feedback helps students replicate what you want them to do in their writing.
If we are not intentional, we can easily rush into many teaching points, instead of only one. We can overwhelm ourselves and our students. If we are not careful, we can miss the most important reason we sit with a student―the opportunity to listen and learn.
Conferring with young writers is far too complex to boiled down to just one important aspect. But… if you had to name the most important part of a writing conference, what would it be?
Finding ways to trust kids, it might be said, creates more space for learning. In this post, I offer a few ways trust can be manifested in a writing workshop…
In writing workshop, we operate on multiple levels– we try to plan and deliver effective minilessons, we try to confer with our writers (and take some notes?), we create anchor charts, and so forth. But what about validating the voices of our student writers? Here are a few tips for disturbing the universe…
Would you like to help your striving writers so they can be more independent? Try a coaching conference to move them forward!
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…
I am so grateful to have this resource available to me as an educator at no cost. Maybe someday, I’ll get to thank whoever is behind the Google Curtain in person. In the meantime, I’ll share what’s been working and I’ll look forward to hearing about how some of you end up doing it even better!
Student-facing checklists can be a powerful tool. While rubrics are helpful for teachers, checklists are helpful for students. Checklists can serve to provide clear targets for writers as they strive to craft pieces of writing. But what might be different ways to use them in your writing workshop? Read to find out…
Want to improve your conferring? Carl Anderson’s new book, A Teacher’s Guide to Writing Conferences, will help you learn the ins and outs of conferring well with young writers.
Read the Q&A with Carl, then leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win a copy of your own!