Thursday, October 18, 2012

Entry 8

After I read through a good number of my classmates blog entries, I began to see different aspects of this class in a new light. I love how after reading or hearing another person's thoughts they begin to trigger something inside of you that springs a new thought or way to view things in your own mind.

When I was reading through my peer, Jaimie's blog, I stopped and read her post about writing conferences. I recalled the chapter on writing conferences that we had read a number of weeks about in Tompkins (2012). After reading Jaimie's post about writing conferences, many new thoughts came into my mind about how I could incorporate more writing conferences into my own classroom and how I am already using writing conferences but just in different ways.  The statement from Jaimie's blogged that triggered my new thoughts was: "Tomkins talks about eight different types:  on the spot conferences, prewriting conferences, drafting conferences, revising conferences, editing conferences, instructional conferences, assessment conferences, and portfolio conferences. Each of these conferences have something special about them." I had completely forgotten about Tompkins (2012) discussion on the eight different types of writing conferences that a teacher can have with his/ her students. So I was glad to read this portion of her blog and be able to reflect on that particular point that Tompkins (2012) makes. 

When I began to think about each different writing conference style, I noticed that I do use a number of them but there are also some that I could try implementing within my classroom starting next week when we begin a new writing piece. I realized that I conduct on the spot conferences with my students on a daily basis, whether it is during writing, reading, or math time. I feel as though a teacher should always be prepared to hold an on the spot conference with a student if they feel it is necessarily or especially if a student has a misconception that could hinder their learning. I feel as though I could work harder in holding pre-writing conferences. I do hold them with my students but they are not structured and they are sometimes in a whole group setting after I have introduced the writing assignment. With such a time crunch these days to get everything covered in such a short amount of time, I feel as though a whole group pre-writing conference where I ask each individual student about their ideas for their new writing piece, may have to do for the time being. I do make a conscious effort to go around and talk with each one of my students during pre-writing so they are able to get on the right track, tell me all of their ideas and then begin their writing piece. I definitely hold both drafting and revising conferences with my students. I have created a sign up sheet for my students to put their names on when they have either completed a draft or are ready to sit with my and revise their writing. I feel as these conferences are extremely important and the students learn so much from that one on  one time with the teacher. When I think about editing conferences, I believe that I do lump those in with the revising conference. But I am going to try harder to also implement just editing conferences into our writing time. I feel as though I am constantly holding instructional conferences either one on one, small group or even whole group when I am introducing a writing style or a new writing piece that they will be working on. Once again there are extremely important to teach about new styles, genres and writing strategies. The last 2 types of conference that I do need to be better about holding are assessment and portfolio conferences. I believe those conferences are also extremely important but can be left out very easily just like I have done the past couple weeks.

 I do believe it is very important for a teacher to have the one on one time with a student to discuss all the various stages of their writing as they are working through all of the steps of writing. These conferences make that one on one time happen and allows a teacher to bond with their students.

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent entry Gretchen. You made a clear attempt to re-think and/or deepen your understanding of teaching writing. You make it clear to your readers how you are reflecting on what you have read (and re-read through Jaimie's eyes) and then pushed yourself to think through more specifically how you would put these types of assessment conferences into action. Well done.