about the author

Carl Anderson is one of the nation’s leading experts on teaching writing to students in grades K-12.

Carl was first an elementary and then a middle school teacher. He taught students of diverse backgrounds in city, rural, and suburban schools in New York City, Bardstown, Kentucky, and Northbrook, Illinois.

In 1994, Carl joined the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University, which was founded and is directed by Lucy Calkins. As a Project staff developer for eight years, Carl worked side-by-side with teachers in elementary and middle school classrooms in New York City and in its surrounding suburbs, demonstrating how have writing conferences, as well as coaching teachers as they conferred with students.

While at the Project, Carl began an intensive study of writing conferences. This study led to his first book, How’s It Going? A Practical Guide To Conferring With Student Writers (2000), and later to his second book, Assessing Writers (2004).

Today, Carl works as a consultant in schools across the United States. He continues to spend most of his days in classrooms with teachers and students, where he concentrates on helping teachers learn to have effective writing conferences that change students’ lives as writers. To learn more about Carl’s workshops in your area click here.

Strategic Writing Conferences: Smart Conversations That Move Young Writers Forward has grown out of the twenty one years that Carl has spent as a teacher and staff developer—out of the thousands of writing conferences that Carl has had with students of all ages, out of the thousands of conferences that Carl has watched teachers conduct and given them feedback about, out of thousands of hours spent studying and reflecting on what it is that makes writing conferences such a successful teaching method.

Carl’s Heinemann books
  • How’s It Going? is a practical guide to conferring with student writers. It offers an in-depth discussion of the teacher’s role in conferences, strategies for teaching students to take an active role, ways to weave in literature, minilessons, classroom management strategies, and responses to the most frequently asked questions about conferring.
  • Assessing Writers offers proven methods for gathering information about every writer in your classroom and shows you how to create writing lessons that address the needs of individual students as well as the whole class.
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