Conference Roles

I like to think of a writing conference as a conversation. Just like many common conversations, there is a predictable structure to the writing conference. I think it’s important for us to teach students about their role and our role in a conference. Tomorrow I have plan to do this in second grade (as I model for almost 20 teachers).

Here is my plan for a chart:

Student Role:

  • Share your current writing work.
  • Tell me what you’re doing as a writer.
  • Tell me what you’re thinking as you work.
  • Try new things as a writer.
Teacher Role:
  • Listen.
  • Ask questions about your writing work.
  • Tell you what you’re doing well as a writer.
  • Help you do something new as a writer.
  • Check back with you to see how the new work is going.
I’ll teach this by modeling this work with a student so the rest of the class can see how a writing conference unfolds. When students learn the predictable structure of a writing conference, then it goes more smoothly. When everyone knows the purpose of a conversation it goes smoother and more efficiently. When this happens, then we lift the level of our conferences. If you’ve not given this type of minilesson, then I encourage you to make a plan to share the purpose and structure with your students. Let me know how it goes. :)