Tag Archives: Conferring

#SOL19: Day 28 SOLSC

Four days left.

Four more posts.

Four more ideas.

Four more slices.

Why does it feel so different?

The pressure to have a story.

The pressure to not have a bandaid.

The pressure is real.

The pressure for students is real.

The pressure for teachers is real.

Is it self-inflicted?

What’s the solution?

Yesterday was amazing.

Our Heinemann reps have established a #ConnectandCollaborate group and provided support requested by local teachers, coaches, and administrators.  Yesterday we, groups in Iowa, Missouri and South Carolina heard answers from our questions posed to Lucy Calkins about coaching.

How do teachers step into conferring?

First task:  Set up the Environment


  • “Do no harm.”


Lucy reminded us that, “You will be conferring all your life. It helps to put yourself in the writer’s shoes.”  Consider when has someone’s feedback left you scarred for life?  “Don’t do that.”  Kids will be vulnerable.

How much does it mean to you to get a real compliment? A real authentic response from a peer or an administrator; not a judgement. “Do that!”

Teachers have power. We can make kids want to put words on the page.  Make sure you are responding in a human way. Warm. Human. Don Murray said, ”Be the kind of person for whom kids want to write.” Respond in human way to the content. When you are headed for radical change, do NOT criticize. Do NOT point out all the things they screwed up.

Second task:  Check your Posture

Are you sitting side by side?

The student holds the paper. The student writes on his/her paper. The goal of the teacher is to get students to say more with little tips to keep them writing:  “Holy Moley, what happened next?”“Wow!  Look what you have written in 5 minutes.” All of this is setting up the backdrop because in order to respond to writers, you have to set a climate where students want to and DO write!

BEGIN by Studying Conferring

  1. Read the guide about the predictable parts of  a conference
  2. Watch the Videos:  Amanda and Lucy
  3. Identify and Practice the Conference Parts

Don’t expect perfection. Plan to grow and learn. Check out the suggested problems in the “If…Then…Curriculum resource online.  Have those solutions ready. Talk about the common issues.


Thank you Beth, Kelly, and Kerry (Lisa and Ashley) for setting up this Zoom opportunity.

What did you learn yesterday?

How will your passion and excitement carry your learning forward? 

How will you build on your own “I can . . .”?

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily March forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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#SOL18: “psst . . . I’m reading . . .”

2018 is the year of books!

These are just some of the books that I have read (and blogged about) during the last school year.  I’ve left out Ellin Keene’s Engaging Children, Tom Marshall’s Reclaiming the Principalship, and Kristi Mraz and Christine Hertz’s Kids 1st From Day One. So much to continue to learn.  So much to continue to read and write about.  So much to continue to be curious about.

And then another new book emerges  . . .

This week’s #G2Great chat will be about this new book from Stenhouse by Kari Yates and Christina Nosek.  And I’ve been waiting

and waiting

and waiting.

Conferring is still an area where I need to improve.  Where I need to listen more and talk less.  Where I need to grow.  And conferring about reading!

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The title is captivating:  “to know and nurture a reader: Conferring with Confidence and Joy”.  I love the conventions, and their use in the title.  I love “confidence and joy”.

Have you checked out the resources?



Help! My students want to choose books I’m afraid are too hard!

How can I support readers who pick the same types of books over and over again?

How can I use conferring to connect with students who are very new to English?

Some of my students just hop from book to book! What can I do to support them?

Why Confer with Readers? 10 Compelling Reasons

I have two chapters left to read and then I will be ready for the chat Thursday night.  I can’t wait to spend more time practicing and improving my conferring skills with students and teachers. The videos, the tips, and all the problem solving has thus far been on target.

What are you reading? 

What are your working on? 

How will we know?

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

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