How do I confer with ALL students regularly?

In many classrooms, it's hard to equitably distribute one's time among the students. There are always a few kids who need more attention. Here are seven ways you can use to ensure all of your students have the opportunity to confer with you on a regular basis.

agency · Amping up Agency Blog Series · conferring · reflections · reflective practice · sharing · small group

The Language to Develop Agency: Amping Up Agency Blog Series

Teachers can build and increase students’ agency by using specific phrases at when conferring, leading small groups, or holding reflection/share sessions at the end of a workshop.

balanced literacy · conferring · minilesson · partnerships

Shake Up the Structure of Workshop

Writing workshop is not about playing someone else’s setlist. Workshop is a flexible set of practices that are meant to be improvised. The structure of workshop is one more way teachers can customize learning for those currently in the room.


Enlist Students as Partners in Conferring

Conferring is a powerful tool to meet the needs of individual writers, but it often feels like students are passive participants in these conversations. Engaging students as partners in this work helps kids see themselves as authors and grow their writing abilities.

authentic assessment · compliment · conferences · conferring · feedback · Resetting Our Workshop Practices Blog Series

Sharing Anecdotal Notes To Shift From Mine To Ours: Resetting Our Workshop Practices

How can we build even more self-efficacy with our student writers? A few simple moves can transform your anecdotal notes and empower you


The Conference, Theirs

Even as the year winds down, third-grade teacher Danielle and I are working to make her inquiry-based approach to workshop even more student centered. How? By taking the necessity of record-keeping beyond the merely manageable and transforming the workshop through student-engaged assessment. Which of Danielle’s practices will you explore as you close out your year?

coaching · conferences · conferring · literacy coaches · Our Favorite Things Blog Series · strategic conferring · toolkits

My Conferring Toolkit: Our Favorite Things Blog Series

In this post, I'll share everything that's inside my conferring toolkit for writing workshop, as well as how I organize it all.

conferences · conferring · Our Favorite Things Blog Series · writing workshop

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). 

conferring · Reflections and Shifts As We Move Forward Blog Series

Improved Conferences: Reflections and Shifts As We Move Forward

As the 2020-21 school year progressed, some teachers reported improved one-to-one conferences when they were conducted through a screen. As students and teachers became more comfortable sharing their screens and recording videos, virtual conferences felt more natural. There are some aspects of virtual writing conferences that can be carried forward once everyone is back to school in-person 100% of the time and/or the masks get to come off indefinitely.

conferring · toolkits

Easily Create a Digital Conferring Toolkit

In these days of little-to-no-notice school closures, it's easy to get stuck at home without everything you need to confer with your students. Having a digital conferring toolkit means you will have access to all of your materials from any device that connects to the internet.

conferring · COVID-19 · independent writing · minilesson · schedules · scheduling · sharing · small group · strategy lesson · writing workshop

Five Ways to Maximize Time If Time for Writing Workshop Gets Cut

Time is a precious commodity in elementary schools. Making the time for a daily writing workshop often means that something else has to get short shrift. However, sometimes, the time for writing workshop gets cut by five or ten minutes. Here are several suggestions for what you can do if writing time gets cut.