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Effective student to student conferencing is the weakest part of my writer's workshop program. Realizing that I need to train the kids to conference effectively, does anyone out there have some activities or lesson plans to support conferencing/peer discussion skills. What kind of accountability measures work to keep it from being off-task or a waste of writing time?

I would REALLY love it if someone out there would create some videos of students talking together about their writing (and share them on this site). I think good modeling is what my kids need the most!

Any other tips on setting up the workshop environment would be great as we plan to launch another school year.

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If you wouldn't mind adding my email to that list I would love a copy also.  Thanks!

rrteach2000@yahoo.com  but I just noticed that at the bottom of this page their is a link that says Upload files.  You could try that!

I have had good luck teaching peer conferencing in the past by doing "whole group" peer editing first, to model what a peer edit for a specific purpose will sound like (for example, writing a strong beginning). Scan the writing for the smartboard or make an overhead of it. Gather as a group to make suggestions/ask questions. I may start out giving many  of the questions/suggestions but in subsequent meetings I try to bow out more and more until finally I am silent. Ask permission to use a student piece being sure the student understands what you will be doing with the piece and why. For instance, I would like to use your piece because you give a great general opening that I think kids could use to write their own. Sometimes we have even then taken the suggestions and all rewritten an opening to see what can become of these suggestions. Be sure to give the whole class guidelines before you start.

I, too, would love a copy of the protocol sheet. Please email it to ibtrinity@yahoo.com

Thank you very much!

Changing their physical environment for different types of conferencing is a fabulous idea. Moving the desks would cue the students as to their task for that class period. Also, if different groups are on different steps of the writing process, I could tell what they are doing based on the configuration of their desks! Thank you for the idea!

My colleagues and I are looking for protocol sheets to guide our second graders during peer conferencing.  Our grade level goal is to make our writing workshop time be as efficient as possible and of course, for our students to become better writers.  If you could please email me your protocol sheet, I'd be happy to share with you our final product after some research.  My email is smiles@fairfieldschools.org  Many thanks!

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