Lifting the Level of Student Writing through Targeted Feedback, Even When Teaching Virtually: Tap the Power of Small Group Work, Conferring, Mentor Texts, and Record Keeping: Grades K-8

Thurs, May 28, 11am-3pm Eastern Standard Time
Fri, May 29, 11am-3pm Eastern Standard Time
Institute will be offered live, over Zoom.

Apply Now

Grade: K-8
Featuring: Jessica Sauer, Rhea Royster, and Heather Burns
Payment: Purchase orders for this institute can be made out to: Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Network, 525 W 120th Street, Box 77, New York, NY 10027

Growth in writing can be hold-your-hat dramatic, and it can be that for all of our students — even when teaching virtually. The key is that we first need to create environments in which kids will take the brave risk of putting themselves on the page, working on writing projects that matter to them, and then above all, we need to give them crystal-clear and ambitious feedback. During the course of this institute you will learn how to tap into the power of leading virtual small group work and conferring sessions with tools in hand to maximize the impact your feedback has on your writers.

To teach in ways that dramatically lift students’ progress, it is important to see what a writer can already do so you can then teach the writer to progress, one step at a time. The writing learning progressions are one potent source of this insight, and the institute will help you mine them so they inform the feedback you give during your one-to-one conferences and small groups. We’ll also direct your attention to the writing process trajectory that can inform the conferring and small group work you do around supporting students within the writing process — exploring ways to make this trajectory support the unique challenges of writing on a digital platform. You’ll explore best practices in delivering virtual feedback for your writers, considering which formats will work best within your remote learning classrooms and digital writing process.

Part of this institute will focus on conferring and small group work with young writers. You’ll hear the TCRWP’s important new thinking about both of these, and will watch demonstrations of both. You’ll benefit from the Project’s new emphasis on supporting kids; independent work with the writing process, learning the important role that the research component of a conference can play in helping writers shift from writing to rereading and revising. You’ll also hear ideas for how your virtual small groups can get kids actively engaged, maximize opportunities for practice, and coach students toward greater independence. You will explore record keeping systems that make your writing conferences and small groups especially potent, so that the data you collect in one conference or small group helps pave a course for the teaching you’ll do in future interactions.

Mentor texts will help you ensure you don’t go into your small groups and conferences empty handed. Presenters will share their top tips for choosing mentor texts and highlight some of their all-time favorites. You’ll learn how to mark up a mentor text, using the learning progression to guide you. You’ll also hear ways you can use digital mentor texts within your small groups in ways that will get students interacting with those texts, so that they’ve got a teacher they can draw on when you’re not by their side.

You’ll leave ready to lead more efficient and powerful conferences and small groups, leaning on mentor texts and learning progressions as tools, even when teaching virtually.




This institute will be offered online, in real-time via Zoom, and will not be recorded for later distribution. We will accept attendees until the institute has reached capacity.