Video 9: Conversations With Student Writers
Watch the 30-minute video "Conversations With Student Writers." If you prefer to watch the video in segments, you can stop at the times suggested below or use the Video Guide (PDF) a detailed outline of the video to help you determine places to stop for discussion.
Answer the questions that follow each segment, jotting down your answers in your notebook.
Understanding the Purpose of Informal Conferences
In the first segment, Mark Hardy and Sheryl Block have impromptu conferences with students. In both classrooms, the students are in the pre-writing stage of a piece of writing.
- What do you notice about the informal conferences in this segment?
- How do they differ from more formal conferences?
- What are the challenges and benefits of each type of conference?
Managing the Class While Conferring With One Student
In the second segment, Nicole Outsen says that she provides her students with options to help them problem solve independently while she confers with an individual student.
- What are some other strategies you might use to engage your class when you are having an individual conference?
- How can you keep students from interrupting conferences for basic needs, such as asking for help with problems, requests for more paper or pencils, or for permission to go to the restroom?
- Make a list of activities other students could be engaged in during individual conference time.
Listening to Students
In the final segment, Lindsay Dibert lets her students do the talking in writing conferences.
- What techniques does Lindsay use to engage her students in conferences?
- What are the benefits of asking students to talk about their writing process what they like about their pieces and where they are struggling?
- What questions might you ask your own students to help them identify the strengths and weaknesses of a particular piece of writing?