Beginning of the Year Writing Conferences Rationale: This conference will allow you to get to know your student as a writer and will let your student know that you value their writing. Timeframe: Conduct conferences during the first few weeks of school while students are doing their independent work during Writers’ Workshop. Set a timer for 5 minutes per conference. Goals: Students will establish writing goals for the year (3). Teachers will reassess the EOY writing sample. Gather data to inform instruction, either whole group or small group. Materials: EOY narrative writing assessments from previous year new students will complete a writing sample while conferences are taking place in the classroom – Instruct students to write about a special time they’ve had with friends or family. sticky notes Pre-Conference: The day of the conference students will be given their writing assessment to reread. Students will be instructed to locate a part of the writing they really like and what they would like to have a chance to do over. Students need to support their choices. Student can highlight or use sticky notes to mark. Teacher will also read the writing sample and locate areas of strength and areas of weaknesses. Use sticky notes to comment – do not write on their writing. Conference Conversation: Thank student for meeting with you to discuss their writing and validate their work. Ask student to read the section (can be a sentence, paragraph, or section – their choice) they like the best and tell you why they like it. Ask student to find the section they would like the chance to do over. Have them tell you why and what they would do differently. Validate the student’s comments then share what you like. Share only one thing you would like to see done differently – it’s OK to use the same thing they already said. Ask: “What would you like me to help you with this school year as a writer?” List up to 3 goals for student for the year. These should be student generated as much as possible. Try to establish goals that span the scoring guide (process, craft, conventions). Place their goals in their Writer’s Notebook. A label keeps it visible for both of you throughout the year.