OH MAN! When I first started teaching, writing conferences were a HOT MESS in my classroom.
I literally would have volunteered to take every teacher’s lunch, recess, and carpool duty for the year if just one of them would do my writing conferences for me. (Don’t forget that I am located in the Phoenix area and temperatures get up to 120 degrees.)
Yup, that’s how much I hated writing conferences.
So, what happens when we hate doing something?
We stop doing it. We put it off as long as humanly possible. That explains the mound of dirty clothes you probably have sitting in your laundry room right now.
I started to reflect on the reasons that I hated writing conferences. It was actually a very simple revelation. I hated writing conferences because I was lacking knowledge and training. I had lots of questions and very few answers.
Y’all, I didn’t even really understand what a writing conference was, or why I needed to have them! And who really needs a conference anyway? What are we supposed to do during writing conferences?
I honestly thought that I was the only clueless one and so I didn’t want to ask the questions.
That was crazy. I now know that teaching writing is crazy hard for everyone. When I asked my teacher Facebook groups what their biggest challenge was with teaching writing, the number one answer was that they didn’t have time. The number two answer was that they didn’t know how to do writing conferences.
Are writing conferences a bit of a mystery to you?
If so, you are not alone, but I’ve got your back!
What is a writing conference?
A writing conference is a conversation with our writers.
It really is that simple. You are chatting about writing with your kiddos.
The key to this conversation is that you are helping your students to become better writers in the process.
To Build Relationships
Each Student Has Different Needs
To Help Students Make Choices When Writing
To Receive and Give Feedback
To Guide Your Future Whole Group Lessons
Who Needs a Conference?
I am going to take this one step farther. Everyone needs a conference every single week.
WHAT?!!! Jamie, there is NO WAY I can do that.
Oh, but you can my friend!
And the key to making that happen is GROUP CONFERENCES!
Just like you have small groups for reading, you can make small groups for writing! While your writers are working on their independent writing, you can meet with a small group for a conference.
It’s life changing.
If you want to read more about group conferences, click HERE.