Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Conversations With Student Writers

Key Practices To Observe

"Conversations With Student Writers" and "Teacher-Student Conferences" explore the characteristics of effective writing conferences and showcase teachers talking with their students about writing in effective and meaningful ways. They feature commentary from experts on teaching writing at the elementary level as well as classroom illustrations highlighting the practices of several teachers. See Profiles

As you watch, look for the following key practices:

  • Conferences are conversations in which teachers relate to students as fellow writers.
  • Teachers provide a predictable, comfortable, and inviting structure for student conferences.
  • Teachers begin conferences with open-ended questions.
  • During their conferences, teachers reinforce the language of writers and model the behaviors they want students to follow in talking about writing.
  • Teachers base conferences on what will help students grow as writers, rather than on "fixing" a piece of writing.
  • During conferences, teachers share specific writing strategies to help students improve.
  • Teachers keep appropriate expectations in mind when conferring with student writers.
  • Throughout their conferences, teachers support the intentions and independence of student writers.
  • Teachers help students reflect on what they have accomplished and set goals for their writing.
  • Teachers rely on quick, informal conferences to see if students are on track with their work.
  • Teachers have a system in place for recording what occurs during conferences.

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