Sunday, October 27, 2013

I'm Ready to Conference!

Try not to faint!
 This is, indeed, my second blog post in a row this weekend!
Here's some Smelling Salts to bring ya' back to life!
Whew! Glad you're back!
I whipped up a freebie last night and I wanted to share it with you all!
It's an "I'm Ready To Conference" freebie and I made 8 different versions of it!

Here's what ya do with it.
In my school, we do Writer's Workshop which has been a lot to take on and I'm still adjusting. Anyways, no matter what you use for teaching writing, you can use this freebie!
Here's the situation: Students are writing, writing, writing and then BAM! 15 of your 20 students are ALL ready to CONFERENCE with you at once! Suddenly you went from circulating the room to being bombarded by 15 little writers eagerly shoving their stories of kitty cats and puppies in your face expecting you to check their writing immediately and to love it!
Tell me I'm not the only one this has happened to!!... Please?!?
Well, I have decided to put a stop to this bombardment of writers all up in my personal bubble!
I put each child's name on a clothespin and printed one of the I'm Ready To Conference papers. I laminated the paper and posted it near my kidney table where I pull small group and usually conference with students. I keep the clothespins on a ribbon under the chart. As a child works through the writing process at their own pace, they track themselves on my Writing Process Clipchart.
As they go through the process, they will first meet with a peer editor. They work together to edit and revise. Once the child has made all of the edits and revisions they think are necessary, then they are ready to conference with me! This is where my Ready to Conference tracker comes in handy. Instead of racing up to me, or raising their hand and playing around at their desk, they get up, grab the clothespin off the ribbon and place it on the I'm Ready to Conference paper. I use the version with the numbers so they know exactly where the next spot is. You could always just teach them to stick it at the top and then down from there though if you don't like the numbers on the chart.
So if they are the first child ready to conference with me, they stick their clothespin on the 1 circle. The next child would stick theirs on the 2 and so on. Now, when I'm done walking around the room and mini-conferencing with everyone while they are writing, I can head to my kidney table, pull off the first clothespin and call that child over to see me. Once I'm done with that child, I can move on to the #2 spot and keep going. The great thing is that I can continue with the same tracking paper the next day until I have met with everyone. I teach them that they are not allowed to put their clothespin in the first spot until ALL clothespins have been taken off the chart. They are always to go to the next open spot after the last clothespin. They have done well with it so far.
This has saved my sanity because now, once they place their clothespin in the right spot, they go back to their seat and start working on their next story so that they continuously write and there is NO. WASTED. TIME.
Plus, the kids love being able to see the tracker and know how many more kiddos are in front of them until it's their turn. They no longer have to ask me because they can check for themselves!
I swear, it has helped so much!
If this sounds like something you'd like to try, please click the pic below to download! I would love to hear your thoughts on how you do writing! I'm always looking for ways to improve my writing time! :)
Happy downloading!

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  1. That is FAN-TASTIC, Daina! Love it! I'm always having that same problem, and I never really do anything about it. This is a perfect way to solve that problem, and I don't even have to create it! You already did it for me. THANKS! : ) I don't have clothespins, but I'll go get some today. {It'll also give me an excuse to get some of that cute Washi tape that I've wanted to buy but had no reason for yet---I'll cover the clothespins in Washi tape for extra cuteness!}

    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

    1. Thanks so much Ali! So glad it will help you out!! :)

  2. Love this idea!! I have a ready to conference on the board, but I can't keep track of it! I love that you take the clip and call them up! Perfect :) I am trying to emphasize working with a peer to edit, but we need to work on this. Thanks so much for your great ideas and freebie.


  3. Love this! Except I think I am going to hole punch the students who I have met with (each student has a number for everything in my room). We just started Writer's Workshop this month as a whole school, so I know the overwhelming feeling! Thank you!

  4. This is super smart! It's usually during conferencing times that I've said I wanted to change my name because I get so sick of hearing it, ha! I am still student teaching now, but I know these will come in handy soon! Thanks!

    Sarah Beth
    Miss White's Classroom