Wriitng Circles Conferencing


How do I Conference during Writing Circles?

     During independent writing activity time, I am circulating around the room,  at the beginning of class, writing anecdotal records, or conferring with individual students about their written assignments they are working on. [I use a clip board to keep track]

      The focus is on the writer and the strategies being used and not the specific text during a conference. Students help other students during writing circles, but I am a monitor making sure they keep on track.

 I use this form to monitor which form of writing the student is currently working on.

Students use this form for group tracking

     As writing circles start, conferences are short (1-2 minutes) meetings. Later, students may go into smaller circles and longer conferences will be needed to discuss and reflect on their writing.

     A key difference between writing circles and writing workshop is that students help students in a circle of five or more students. I have students use this form to help review each other's work.

Circle discussion Meeting Form

   Writing Conference Questions? A writing conference form

I feel each student presents a different set of questions. However, the following are some types of questions I might ask during the conference. 


1.    What do you think you'll write about?

2.    Why did you settle on that idea?

3.    Where will you start? 

4.     Will this be a poem? Or a Narrative? What type of writing could it be?


1.       What can I help you with today?

2.       Do you have more than one story here?

3.       What is the most important thing you're trying to say here?

4.       Do all the parts of your story fit?

5.       Can you tell me more about this?

6.       This part isn't clear to me.  Can you tell me what you mean?

7.       Can you describe this for me?

8.       What next ?

9.       Are you happy with your lead/ending?

10.     How does your lead grab your reader's attention?

11.     Can you be more specific here?

12.     Is this the best word here?

13.     Can you think of a different way to say this?

14.     What do you think you can do to make this draft better?

15.     What works so well you'd like to try to develop it further?

16.     What did you learn from this piece of writing?

17.     Can you think of something you tried in this draft that you've never tried before?

18.     How can I help you with this piece?


Editing/Proofreading Checklist

Student: ______________________________  Date:___________

Title of the writing piece is:________________________________

My purpose is:__________________________________________

My audience is:__________________________________________

The form of my writing is:__________________________________

Things that I like about this draft are:__________________________




Things I think need improving are:_____________________________




Did you use writing conventions?

Does it sound right?

Did you use a dictionary, or ask a peer to the teacher for assistance?

A self evaluation form

Conferencing Checklists - PDF FORMS


         Writing Circles