I know it’s insanely hard to host writing conferences with students….especially when you have no idea where to start. That was me. If you want to read all about my writing conferences in addition to this, check this post out!
Why I started Writing Conferences…
About 5 years ago I finally decided to jump head in to writing conferences and what a game changer it was. In our state, we have respond to reading writing essays. One of the things I noticed was that I was never ever talking to my kids about their writing. yeah- I can write them notes…but are they reading them? Once I started talking to the kids during writing time they started adjusting their writing to exactly what they needed to include in their writing.
What if you conferred with every student?
When I start my year, (if I am being honest), I don’t actually meet with the students immediately. I need to teach the skill. If you don’t teach the skill, how will they know what to do? I spend about 20 days teaching how to respond to reading. Once the students actually start writing independently, I ready to host some writing conferences.
How long are writing conferences?
During my writing block, I have about 30-45 minutes (depending on the day) and I always teach a mini-lesson. Realistically, my conference time is about 20-30 minutes. I spend 8-10 minutes with each student. I do try incredibly hard to meet with every kid every single week.
If I am being honest, my rotation is over 6 days. I will match them up to the rotation of the fine arts calendar and tell the students the specific day that they are going to meet with me. I love telling them ahead of time so they have everything ready to discuss when I call them. By the second or third time of conferences, they completely understand how it works.
Another quick tip is that on 7th day, I let the kids sign up for conferences. If they have questions or want me to read their essay, I meet with them additionally on the 7th day.
What do you talk about during Writing conferences?
One of my favorite ways to conference with my students is conference forms. When I started conferencing with kids, I would not have any guidance or I would kind of just ask about different things that may. not really pertain to the topic. I created the writing forms to keep me on track. I needed this because I really felt…well…lost. If you were to prepare your questions ahead of time, you will find that your conferences will go smoothly, and you won’t stumble like I did. You have will more of an open mind when you are talking to your students.
What can you do?
I completely understand that creating your own questions can be insanely hard…especially if you don’t know where to start. You also may not know what kind of questions to even ask. Lucky for you- I have questions created for you. You can check them out in my store. You can also check out this book by Jennifer Serravallo. It helped guide me throughout this process of writing conferences
Get your free Writing Conference Form!
Download a FREE Writing Conference form to kick start your writing conferences.