When Carl Anderson wrote A Teacher's Guide to Writing Conferences in 2018, he never could have imagined that in 2020 we would be conferring with students on virtual platforms like Zoom and Google Meet. But as Carl states below -- "Writing conferences are still at the heart of teaching writing." -- and so we must adapt.
Below and in the attached free guide, Carl offers words of wisdom as well as clear sets of skills teachers need to know to effectively talk with children about their writing.
In Carl's own words:
Writing conferences are still at the heart of teaching writing. That’s because these 1:1 interactions with children give you the opportunity to provide the individualized support students need from you to grow as writers. In fact, conferring is more important than ever, as conferences give you and your students the opportunity to maintain and further develop the relationships that you miss when school is not meeting in person, or when your school is doing a version of blended learning. As John Hattie explains in Visible Learning (2009), these relationships help your students learn from you.
Whether you are conferring face-to-face in classrooms, or virtually, conferring effectively requires several sets of skills: you need to know how to talk with children about their writing, assess them as writers, and teach them well, all in the 5–7 minutes that conferences typically take. Conferring with children online requires one more: you need to know how to best use online platforms to confer successfully. Here are ten tips that will help you make great conferences possible online.
To learn more about A Teacher's Guide to Writing Conferences visit Heinemann.com and/or watch the video below.
Carl Anderson is an internationally recognized expert in writing instruction for Grades K-8, working as a consultant in schools and districts around the world. A long-time Staff Developer for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Carl is the author of numerous books on teaching writing, including the bestselling How’s It Going? A Practical Guide to Conferring with Student Writers.
His latest book, A Teacher's Guide to Writing Conferences, is part of the Classroom Essentials series. Full of classroom video, the book helps teachers understand the underlying principles and reasons for conferring with students, and how to make writing conferences a part of teachers' daily routines.