Conduct a writing conference

Once a first draft is complete, the author will want to conference with peers to share his or her writing and receive feedback on it. In the early past of the year this is best accomplished through teacher modeling the proper attitudes and expectations in receiving and critiquing student work. The important tenets in conferencing are:

Respect - we respect one another's work and speak to each other respectfully

Consideration - we are careful to refer to one another's work with consideration for people's feelings

Listening - we listen carefully in receiving one another's work and feedback

Questioning - we can best encourage others to think more about their writing by the questions we ask

Critical Friendship - we offer helpful feedback in a spirit of caring and friendship

Conferences can take place simultaneously around your classroom as the teacher circulates to listen and supervise student interaction. In some classrooms teachers identify specific groups of students who are to meet for conferences on a regular basis. In other classrooms students form ad hoc conference groups as the need arises. At the end of student conferencing time, it can be helpful to invite students to share what they have learned from one another with the class as a whole. Also, some students will want to share their drafts with the entire class in order to receive additional feedback from a wider audience.

When the writing conference is complete, the author is ready to write his or her second draft. Be sure to review with your class how to open the first draft in the word processor and save it as "topic_draft2" so that they will not overwrite their first draft in the process. By the end of the writing process the author should have at least six drafts in their writing folder on a topic, documenting the evolution of the piece towards publication.

Further Reading:

Peer Content Conferences


Conferring by by Carl Anderson

Conferencing with Students

Conferencing, Redrafting and Learning from Assessment

Teaching Writing with Peer Response Groups Encouraging Revision

Writing with Writers


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