Getting stuck isn’t having nothing to write about, getting stuck is not knowing how to write about that thing.
Carey, age 8
In her book, Writing Through Childhood, Shelley Harwayne set up a framework to guide teachers in responding to student writing. Now, with this video, watch Shelley conferring with several children about their writing.
Based on the conference guidelines she explains in her book, the video follows Shelley as she gently
- inquires how a student feels about being asked to write
- notices if a student takes risks as a writer
- checks whether a student understands what writing is for
- ensures (once the above conditions are in place) that a student has strategies in hand for improving the work.
Responding to student writing is an art, not a science. Knowing exactly what to say in a writing conference is not obvious. By viewing the conferences on this video, you can polish your art of conferring and guide your students through the "stuck" parts of their writing.