Have you been told that you HAVE to have writing conferences but you have absolutely no idea what to do? A few years ago, I was told I needed to have these conferences and my response was “what do I even say to them [students]?!?!” I must have looked at my trainer like she had ten heads. Seriously. She probably thought “this one will be done with elementary soon enough.” Surprise- I’m still here!
I didn’t know what to do. Then I started to just talk to the kids. It’s like I was scared but writing is so hard and how can you just “talk” with them? Well I figured it out…kinda. I ended up allowing myself to ask what their story was about. I started there. I wanted to hear what they were writing about but I also wanted to know WHY. I was intrigued by some of their stories and why they were writing them.
I started with my base question…what. What are you writing about, and when why did you decide to write about this? It really opened up my conversation with the students and I was able to discuss with them how their story progressed. I could also guide them with the different ideas from what they said to me. I can show how that idea made them feel. I would really try to put a different perspective on it for the students.
This turned into an entire writing block. I have to say- I fell in love with it. I loved being able to listen to the stories, or discuss it with the students. I loved hearing about a life that I haven’t seen. I loved being able to push them further than they could have ever been. I had open discussions and discussed so much that I couldn’t keep track of it. Seriously- it was crazy!
I ended up creating Writing Conference notes because I was tired of all of these post it notes all over my desk or all over my binder. At one time I did use a notebook but the post-its were falling out like every other day and I was tired of chasing them.
I created my notes to use in my binder. These have been incredibly helpful to use in my classroom on a day to day basis. I also needed some to use during our state testing time. We write about an opinion piece and a informative piece. I created conference notes to guide me as I was speaking to the students. I was able to keep track of all of my questions without worrying if I forgot anything. The conference notes take me all the way through from the beginning to the end.
Once I meet with them, I try to meet with them again a few days later. This allows me to follow up with them while asking different questions on day 2 of the conference.
Want to purchase these conference notes? Click right >here<. If there is something missing- let me know and I can add it for you!
Hugs & High-Fives,