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A Teacher's Guide to Writing Conferences
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Watch Carl confer with Matthew

A Teacher's Guide to Writing Conferences

The Classroom Essentials Series

Writing conferences are a way to help both you and your students find joy in the writing process. And too, conferences can help you provide one-on-one instruction that covers a wide range of writing skills and strategies.

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The Classroom Essentials Series
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How can I get started with conferring or improve my conferences?
How can I fit conferences into my busy writing workshop schedule?
How can conferences help me meet the diverse needs of student writers?

Helping students become better writers is what writing conferences are all about.In A Teacher’s Guide to Writing Conferences, Carl Anderson explains the underlying principles and reasons for conferring with students, and how to make writing conferences a part of your daily routine. With clear and accessible language, Carl guides you through the three main parts of a writing conference, and shows you the teaching moves and intentional language that can be used in each one.  He helps you understand:
• how to get started with conferring, or improve your existing conferences
• how to use conferences to meet the diverse needs of your student writers
• how to fit conferences into your busy writing workshop schedule.
More than 25 videos bring the content to life, while Teacher Tips, Q&A’s, and Recommended Reading lists provide everything you need to help you become a better writing teacher.

Additional Resource Information

(click any section below to continue reading)


Watch Carl confer with Matthew
Watch Carl’s follow-up conference with Matthew
Watch Carl’s annotations on his conferences with Matthew



Part One: What Is a Writing Conference?
My First Writing Conference Was a Disaster
Writing Conferences Happen in Writing Workshop
What Is a Writing Conference?
Why Confer?
Part Two: Start by Discovering What the Student is Doing as a Writer
Invite Students to Talk About Their Writing
What Will Students Talk About?
Five Scenarios That Happen After You Ask, “How’s It Going?”
Try It Yourself: Studying Your Conferring
Part Three: Assess and Decide What to Teach
Recognizing Patterns Is the Key to Good Decision-Making
Writing Patterns and Teaching Points
Try It Yourself: Building Your Knowledge of Writing Patterns and Teaching Points
Part Four: Then Teach Powerfully
Move One: Give Feedback
Move Two: Deliver a Teaching Point
Move Three: Coach
Move Four: Link to Independent Work
Studying the Four Teaching Moves in a Transcript of a Conference
Try It Yourself: Improving Your Conference Teaching



“With the videos included in this book, learning does not stop on the last page of the book. The art of teaching is taking something and creating a wonderful lesson that brings the learning to life. This is what the videos do for the book.”—Lesley Miller, Director of Title I and Literacy, Frankfort, IN

“Carl does an excellent job of showing all the possibilities when conferring with writers. His teaching point library is probably the highlight of this book for veteran teachers. Excellent!”—Jill Hatcher, Literacy Coach

“This would have been invaluable to me in my first years of teaching. Not just the text, but as a way that teachers can talk to students, in ways that move the learning forward.”—Tia Frahm, Assistant Professor

“I struggle with writing conferences, and this book was filled with helpful problem solvers.  The many strategies offered quick and useful tools to support my teaching and the young writers in my classroom.”-- Tiffany Jewell, Montessori Teacher

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