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Write With Joanna
By Suzanne Klein on 6/28/2016 9:25 AM
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A special thank you goes to Dana Murphy for allowing us to share her blog post, “How Do We Develop a Writing Identity?” I support what Dana says on how we can help students develop identities as writers.  To make writing meaningful, we need to make it a social experience. When students have a real audience, they start to look forward to writing and see themselves as writers. Keep reading to learn more about Dana’s thoughts on this topic. 

I am a writer. 
                                

There was a time in my not-so-distant past when I would never have uttered those words. I didn’t believe them.  After all, I had no published work.  I was not getting paid to write. How could I call myself a writer?

Those two things are still true – I have no published work, and I don’t get paid to write. Yet, I do consider myself a writer today.  Why?

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By Suzanne Klein on 10/24/2011 10:14 PM
Conferencing with the teacher is a time of personalized coaching and encouragement for students practicing Common Core Standard writing skills. Conferencing individualizes instruction and reinforces new skills, ultimately helping K-5 students discover their power as writers.

"Teaching writing must become more like coaching a sport and less like presenting information. You have to do more than call out the errors."
                                          ~Lucy Calkins

Conferencing lies at the heart of effective writing instruction. Why?

Because writing, unlike other subjects, offers no single correct answer. In some ways, writing is like playing a sport. You have to put a variety of skills together to hit the target. As teachers, we demonstrate the rules of the game and guide our students in strengthening their performance. Like the coach who offers personalized advice to help each athlete improve, we give individualized feedback that accelerates learning.

 

In the writing workshop model, conferencing is the primary vehicle for this individualized instruction. Yet during WriteSteps professional development days, teachers ask more questions about conferencing than anything else. Here are the most common obstacles we see to successful K-5 conferencing:
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