Beginning of the Year Writing Conferences

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
 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.
 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
 sticky notes
 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,
 Place their goals in their Writer’s Notebook. A label keeps it visible for both of you
throughout the year.