The Secret to Powerful Teaching:
Tips and Strategies that Will Make a
Difference in Your Writing Conferring
Presented by Shana Frazin
Let’s begin by chatting with someone who is sitting
near to you:
Book, Movie, TV series, Game or App
Topic you are currently in studying
Potty or sleep training?
Skill: cooking or carpentry?
Small moment story from your morning
Tip #1: You gotta get in
the pool if you want to
In other words, in order to teach writing, you need to
do some writing.
Quick Write: Opinion, Narrative or Information based
on your neighborly conversation
Tip #2: A conference is a dialogue,
not a monologue
During a writing conference, writers say some
Topic My piece is about…
I am… (collecting or developing or choosing or…)
Next Steps Next, I am planning to…
Trouble I need some help with…
Tip #2.5: Teach Other Ways
Writers Talk About Writing
Identity (with evidence!)
Tip #3: There’s more than one
way to get in the pool
In other words, Research, Decide, Teach is not the
one and only structure for a writing conference
Coming Soon… conference
Tip #4: Create examples with
“Writers reach not for the ornate or the impressive word, but for the true
word, the precise word.” ~Lucy Calkins
In my own writing:
1st try: I watched my mom as she combed her hair.
More precise try: I studied my mom as she lifted the blue plastic
pick to her curls. Phft, phft, phft.
1st try: I was so excited. I jumped up and down.
More precise try: Inside me was a tingle. I started to feel a little
taller. Like a big brother. I made a fist, stretched my arm and tugged
to my chest and said, “yea!!”
Tip #5: Talking about
Writing is Writing Work
Some people say, “If you can’t speak it, you can’t write
Other people say, “Practice makes… permanent.”
I say, “Oral rehearsal is a powerful tool for creating
community and for improving the quality of writing.”
Tip #6: Recruit Co-Teachers
(Including Your Very Own Students)
There is a clear and powerful link between reading and
writing that eludes some students. Capitalize on this link by
showing kids how you and many other writers walk in the
footsteps of the masters.
From Crow Call:
It’s morning, early, barely light, cold for November. At home,
in the bed next to mine, Jessica, my older sister still sleeps. But
my bed is empty.
It’s evening, late, no sounds, save the whir of the AC unit. At
home, in the room next to hers, Tami’s mom sleeps like a baby.
But Tami is too angry for sleep.
Tip #7: Twitter!
Just a few ah.mazing authors who are available on
Roy Peter Clark
And, many of your favorite TCRWP SDers!
Tip #8: Track Your Teaching
“Take only memories. Leave only footprints.” is good
advice while hiking and conferring.
Give and take artifacts—
Old School: Post-Its
Tip #9: Fall in Love
Revision is a disposition to be nurtured
Our first thought is rarely our best thought
Shout it out from the rooftops
Make “before and after” writing visible
Tip #10: Get happy
How can we make our classroom feel like a room
without a roof?