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Professional Development

How To Improve the Quality of Writing Conferences

Making the most of teacher-student conversations about writing
Grade Levels:
30 minutes
Taping Rights:
Teaching Materials:
See Below
Program Schedule:
See Below

Expert writing teachers and consultants join Kentucky Department of Education Associate Commissioner Starr Lewis for a discussion of the elements of quality teacher/student writing conferences. The panelists respond to videotape footage of writing conferences at all grade levels and discuss the strategies teachers use to make the most of them. The examples illustrate that writing conferences do not have to be time-consuming, planned events that occur only after a student has written a draft. Rather, effective conferences can be spontaneous and quick, can occur at any stage of the writing process, and can even be whole-class or small-group activities.

Length: 4 programs; 30 minutes each
Audience: classroom and English/language arts teachers, all levels


  1. Pre-Writing Conferences—looks at the types of conferences occurring in the pre-writing stage. Many teachers believe that writing conferences should come only during the writing process and just before publishing, but most of the best pieces of writing evolve from conferences about the writer’s notebook entries that take place before drafting begins.

  2. Quick Conferences—explores those “quick conferences” teachers have with students and shows examples of how to make the most of impromptu conferences, or check-ins, after mini-lessons.

  3. Revision Conferences—models the importance of having a narrow focus for each writing conference—for example, tying the conference to a specific mini-lesson, like checking for leads, characterizations, etc.

  4. Response Groups—features a variety of response group strategies and techniques for setting the stage for meaningful, productive conferences between peers.

Teaching Materials

PDF format
KET Online
KET Professional Development
(800) 432-0951
600 Cooper Drive
Lexington, KY 40502-2296

Kentucky schools may tape and retain programs according to the rights listed above. For further information, contact the KET Education Division.

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27-Aug-2013 09:58:41 Eastern Daylight Time