Monday, October 24, 2011

The Writing Conference as an Essential Part of Assessment

I have to admit I'm having such a hard time getting my kids to understand what conferences look like in the writing workshop. I still have the hapless hand-raisers who will sit there and stare into space while I'm conferring with another student. We've talked about it, and some days it works, but other days I just arrive at my first planned conference and before I know it, I have 5 or 6 hands in the air accompanied by the "zone-out" look - that look that tells me they are apparently going to do nothing else but raise their hand at me until I get there.

I'm wondering if having conferences at a specific location in our room - like the guided reading table - will change that. But I like the idea of moving around the room for conferences since they become learning experiences for those neighbors who listen in.

Anyway, as a result of this, I'm having a hard time building in the conference as assessment - with goal setting and record keeping because I feel like I'm bouncing all over the place.

Any suggestions for me?

1 comment:

  1. I left a comment. It didn't work. I leave it again. I hope it works.

    It took a while for students to get into a groove of writing conferences with me. Usually, I had a class talk me through behavior while I met with students one-on-one. They usually came up with "Respect" for others as a key ingredient while I had a conference with individual writers. We made a poster, hung it up, and when they goofed off, I could point to the poster and they self-monitored. It wasn't always successful, but it usually worked.