Saturday, March 6, 2010

Habits of Highly Effective Writing Conferences

"Conferences Are Conversation" applies many of Stephen Covey's popular "Habits of Mind".

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood": Involve students in conversation about their writing process before providing guidance.

"Sharpen the Saw": Anderson's conference script opened my eyes to how conversation about writing can help students improve as writers. In his brief writing conference, Anderson helps his student clarify his process, purpose, audience, plan next steps, affirm the student, and provide focused instruction on analyzing a mentor text.

"Begin with the end in Mind": Based on conversation with the writer, Anderson focuses on one line of thinking: writing an effective lead. "When we finish a conference, we should be able to name what it is we did to help that student become a better writer." (Anderson, p. 9)

"Win/Win": Effective writing conferences are mutually beneficial: Writing teachers celebrate as their students become better writers.

"Synergize" "Synergize is the habit of creative cooperation. It is teamwork, open-mindedness, and the adventure of finding new solutions to old problems."

"Conferences Are Conversations" is both instructional and motivational. Equipped with fresh insight on writing conferences, I am energized to make time for this important practice next week.

"Conferences Are Conversation" is from Carl Anderson (2000). How's it Going?


  1. I enjoyed reading the connection you made with "Habits of Mind."

  2. What an interesting connection you've made, Janice! Text-to-text exemplified. :) I love it!

  3. This is such a creative entry. Your connection of Anderson to Covey makes me want to read Covey's book.