Discipline: Professional Resources

Copyright: 2009

Grade(s): K - 5

Delivery Method: Print

Province: National

Imprint: Heinemann

Author(s): Holly Slaughter

Small-Group Writing Conferences: How to Use Your Instructional Time More Efficiently

Small-Group Writing Conferences shows why small groups work. And how they can boost your instructional effectiveness.

  • You’ll compliment and coach more students through the writing process each day.
  • You’ll focus on explicitly teaching writing strategies, scaffolding learning across everything students write.
  • You’ll gather more assessment information than ever—a big help for differentiation
  • Your teaching will stick better as students practice and discuss strategies together, then link them to prior learning.    

Holly Slaughter tells you when and how to use small-groups and gives you tips for planning, record keeping, and trouble shooting. She describes four kinds of writing conferences that allow you to plan instruction or confer whenever and however you need to:

  • Table Conferences—Conferring with heterogeneous groups to address some students’ needs and reinforce strategies for others
  • Skill Conferences—Grouping students with similar needs for explicit instruction or guided practice
  • Expectation Conferences—Using groups to teach students to manage materials and self-monitor
  • Progress Conferences—Seeing how a group has fared with a strategy and promoting accountability for learning.