components Three Conference Books

Through its three conference books Strategic Writing Conferences presents 100 conferences organized around the writing proces—prewriting, drafting, revising. Each book opens with a diagnostic guide that helps you identify a writing problem and then locate the corresponding conference that will help you address it. Click here to download these diagnostic guides.

Every conference shows you how to teach a specific writing strategy, craft technique, or point of grammar or mechanics. The predictable features of each conference model a framework for teaching a student effectively. In addition, marginal notes offer coaching, background information, and/or ideas for modifying the conference. Click here to download an annotated lesson walkthrough.

The conferences in Topics address areas of need that occur as students learn to prewrite (or rehearse their writing) effectively. The 30 conferences in Topics are divided into three parts.
  • The conferences in "Part 1: Finding Topics" help you teach strategies for finding topics for writing.

  • Sample Conference: Conference 4: "Finding a Topic by Brainstorming Writing Territories"
  • The conferences in "Part 2: Exploring Topics" show students how to explore or "collect" topics in their writer's notebook by writing short entries. By exploring topics, students get a sense of which ones they want to write about as formal drafts for publication.
  • The conferences in "Part 3: Developing Topics" teach students how to develop narrative and nonfiction topics before drafting.
The conferences in Drafts address areas of need that occur when students are learning to draft fiction and nonfiction pieces. The 43 conferences in Drafts are divided into six parts.
  • The conferences in "Part 1: Thinking About Audience" teach students how to identify appropriate audiences for their drafts and to write with those audiences in mind.
  • The conferences in "Part 2: Getting Started" teach students how to plan narrative and nonfiction drafts.
  • The conferences in "Part 3: Crafting Leads" teach students how to write many kinds of narrative and nonfiction leads.

  • Sample Conference: Conference 14: "Crafting a Lead by Starting with an Important Scene"
  • The conferences in "Part 4: Crafting Narrative Scenes" teach students how to write narrative scenes with vivid detail.
  • The conferences in "Part 5: Crafting Nonfiction Sections" teach students how to write logically organized, precisely detailed sections of nonfiction drafts.
  • The conferences in "Part 6: Crafting Endings" teach students how to write narrative and nonfiction endings.
Finished Projects
The conferences in Finished Projects address areas of need that occur when students are learning to revise and edit. The 28 conferences in Finished Projects are divided into four parts.
  • The conferences in "Part 1: Revising" teach revision strategies.

  • Sample Conference: Conference 2: "Revising Using Blank Pages, Sticky Notes, "Spider Legs," and "Add Ons"
  • The conferences in "Part 2: Editing for Voice and Tone" teach students how to revise and edit their writing to create voice and tone.
  • The conferences in "Part 3: Editing for Clarity" teach students editing strategies, as well as grammar and mechanics.
  • The conferences in "Part 4: Planning Writing Beyond the School Year" teach students how to continue writing after the school year.
Teaching Guide
The Teacher’s Guide outlines the principles that shape Carl’s approach to conferring and provides tools for diagnosing common writing problems and identifying the best conferences for moving students forward.




Carl on Camera DVD

Introducing Strategic Writing Conferences
On Introducing Strategic Writing Conferences Carl explains the elements of an effective conference, conferring concepts, and ways to assess young writers.
Part 1: Introduction to Writing Conferences
Part 2: Key Concepts for Writing Conferences
Conferences Are Conversations
Conferences Help Students Become Better Writers
Conferences Have a Predictable Structure
Show Students That You Care
Part 3: The Teacher's Role in a Writing Conference
Part 4: Assessment of Student Writing
Assessment Lenses
Traits of Good Writing
Exemplar Pieces
A Typical Pattern: The "All About" Story
Conference Notes and Records
Part 5: Frequently Asked Questions about Conferring

Modeling Strategic Writing Conferences
On Modeling Strategic Writing Conferences 11 full-length conferences let you eaves drop on Carl as he confers with students at various stages of the writing process.Click here for a Carl on Camera DVD Guide.

Conference 4 Finding a Topic by Brainstorming Writing Territories
Conference 5 Finding a Topic by Mining a Writing Territory
Conference 16 Developing a Topic by Reflecting on Its Significance

Conference 8 Getting Started by Writing a Detailed Plan
Conference 21 Crafting a Scene with Precise Details: Dialogue, Thoughts, and Action
Conference 24 Crafting a Scene by Describing Character Actions

Finished Projects
Conference 1 Revising by Adding Text
Conference 3 Revising by Focusing an "All About" Story
Conference 4 Revising by Focusing on Important Scenes
Conference 17 Editing by Reading Aloud
Conference 22 Editing by Deleting "And"
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