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I have had the privilege to work with an excellent literacy coach this year.  I asked her to help me to refine my conferring skills during writer's workshop, which I have struggled with for several years.  I yearn to give students the appropriate feedback to move them forward in their writing, but I sometimes get stuck on exactly what to say to them....or to ask them. 

After a few sessions work with this amazing teacher and coach, I noticed that she had a special way of listening to kids talk about their writing.  She kept saying a few magic words that really got the kids thinking and talking about their writing:

I'm wondering.....
I'm noticing......

And a few questions kept popping up....

What were you thinking?
What were you feeling?
What is the heart of your story?
(Why was this idea SO important that you chose to WRITE about it?)

I really started thinking about what makes a piece of writing really compelling to read...and realized that the best writing answers the above questions really well.  It seems too easy, doesn't it?  But, I am finding that as I mimic these questions the way she did, in an "I'm wondering...." sort of way, the conferences that I am having with my students are much more productive and they build their confidence as writers.  The magic happens when students do the thinking on their own and answer these questions themselves, rather than me saying things like, "You need to add more details."

I am so excited about the work I am doing with my young writers this year!

Please enjoy this FREEBIE....a set of posters to help get your students thinking about their narrative writing! (You can download them HERE)

White you're there check out my two newest items:

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