06.06.17 Conferring with Writers #TrinityLearns

Summer Literacy and Mathematics Professional Learning
June 5-9, 2017
Day 2: Making the Most of Conferring in Writing Workshop

Lisa Eickholdt (@LisaEickholdt)

The Writing Strategies Book- Jennifer Serravallo

Slide Presentation- Launch Unit Generating Ideas

Marsha’s Notes:

The heart of teaching is during the conference


Complement Stems

  • I notice you…I see you’re the kind of writer who…
  • That’s important because….
  • Every time you write you can…and it will…

“What are you working on as a writer?” What have you learned in mini-lessons that you’re working on as a writer? Goal- follow the child’s lead!


When you’re done, you’ve just begun!

Use mentor texts and anchor charts so that your teaching will STICK! A compliment conference will validate their use of the teaching point.

Writing Pathways has all of the grade level writing samples. Copy them and put them in student writing folders. Spend 3 days immersing in the genre before you teach.


Open Genre Unit? Allow the kids to choose their own genre of writing for a few weeks. Ralph Fletcher- Joy Write

Idea Generating Strategies are great launch units at the beginning of the year

Resources for Anchor Charts



Writing Conference with Harold and Amanda


Providing and then Withholding Scaffolding to Support one Child’s Early Understanding of Narrative Structure (K-2) from TC Reading and Writing Project on Vimeo.

Typically confer with 4 students per session


Teaching Moves During a Conference

Craft- how do you make your writing more interesting?


Goals and Habits


Pg 30- Learning From Classmates- Eickholdt


Structure                                          CUPCAKE


Craft                                                 FROSTING/SPRINKLES


Writing is like a cupcake…Frosting & sprinkles are craft and convention but meaning, structure, and elaboration is the cupcake

Touch and write across the pages…oral rehearsal is key

Step 1: Immersion (study the genre that you’ll be teaching, think, plan, sketch and label, write, reread and revise, reread and edit)- use mentor texts from old students

Before revision, vision!

Stop being a hunter of errors and look for the beauty of the content!


Carl Anderson- Assessing Writers

Don’t write the watermelon, write the seed- Calkins


  • Narrow the Timespan- seed- slice of time
  • Angling Writing- so what? Why are you writing this?- each page has an angle about one focus…My Sister is a Daredevil, My Brother is my Best Friend


  • Inside Story- tell me what you’re thinking and feeling/Flash forward and Flash back
  • Exploding Moment- the most volume of writing should be about the focus
  • Add in Talking, Thinking,  and Specific Body Actions- bring character to life by making them talk

Structure and Organization

  • Excluding extraneous events (impacts focus)
  • Including important events (impacts elaboration)
  • Planning

Timelines- Action and Reaction

Break writing into paragraphs using PATS:

  • Place
  • Action
  • Time
  • Speaker


Express Lane Editing– Video (Jeff Anderson)

Video Resources on Conferring

Conference with Joshua (from Mark Overmeyer: How Can I Support You?)

A Writing Conference: Teaching a Student to Write for Audience (3-5)

Assessment-Based Conferring to Raise the Level of Narrative Writing (3-5)

Conference with Bella (from Patrick Allen: What Are You Thinking? Conferring in Reader’s Workshop)

Research-Decide-Teach conference Reading

Coaching Conference Reading


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