VSRA Day 1-#sol15

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Today has been busy, but it’s a good kind of busy. The conference has gotten off to a great start. I presented at ten this morning and then attended some wonderful sessions.  One session on conferencing with writers was led by Kelly Boswell and she validated a lot of my thinking about how to interact with my young writers.  Ms. Boswell reminded us that “your words are either bullets or bricks.” We as teachers have an incredible amount of power with the words that we use when working with our student writers and that is something that we cannot forget.

Ms. Boswell also encouraged us to remember that coaching writers requires listening so that the students are doing most of the talking.  She illustrated the power of listening by presenting us with a typed copy of a student’s piece of writing and read it aloud.  After reading this piece and identifying all of the good things that the author did, she showed us the original draft in the student’s handwriting.  Spelling errors and handwriting issues would have distracted from the message of the piece and all of the positive things that the student was able to demonstrate.  If we let our students read their work to us first, we will not get bogged down by trying to address all of the errors that will jump out at us when they are right in front of us.

I left this session with a lot to think about when considering how I conference with students.  I am so glad that I chose this session!

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8 thoughts on “VSRA Day 1-#sol15

  1. Leigh Anne

    It is so nice to go to a conference and be able to bring something back. Conferring with students is such a weak area for me. I hope your presentation went well too.

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  2. elsie

    That is such important advice. Respond as a listener to the story before you ever see the story. Are you teaching the writer or the writing? That’s what I ask all the time. Glad your session went well and you are learning in the other sessions.

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    1. wahooteacher Post author

      Kelly Boswell, who was the presenter today, is on Twitter (@KellyMBoswell) and has a book that she co-authored with Linda Hoyt (that’s on my TBR list). She had so many great suggestions-I couldn’t record them fast enough!

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  3. rachel reads

    This is such a good strategy. I have been slowly working my way toward focusing on certain things when conferring with students instead of trying to focus on every little detail. I think I am also changing my philosophy to revolve much more around big ideas and concepts than grammar skills – though those are important. Sometimes the ideas need to be discussed and encouraged first.

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