Key Practices To Observe
"Conversations Among Writing Peers" and "Peer Conferences" explore how teachers help students become effective conference partners for their peers. They feature commentary from experts on teaching writing at the elementary level, as well as classroom illustrations highlighting the practices of several teachers. See Profiles
As you watch, look for the following key practices:
- Teachers model meaningful conference structures that students can follow and adapt.
- The "fishbowl" demonstration allows students to see peer conferences in action.
- Teachers give students time to practice peer conferences.
- Teachers communicate reasonable expectations and recognize that conferring skills develop and improve over time.
- Peer conferences help students develop critical listening skills.
- Student writers receive sincere compliments and respectful feedback from their peers without relinquishing control over writing choices.
- Teachers quietly listen to student writing conversations and use these opportunities to assess progress.
- Teachers sometimes coach students during peer conferences, keeping their focus on strategies that help students improve their writing skills.
- During peer conferences, students refer to specific writing strategies taught and modeled in a writing workshop. Classroom charts or other visual reminders of writing strategies help facilitate their conversations.