Publications & Resources

Writing Conferences: Powerful Tools for Writing Instruction

Nov 1998

Monette Coleman McIver and Shelby A. Wolf

This report highlights one of six language arts case study teachers whose classroom we have visited for a two-day period to observe writing instruction, to ask questions about the KIRIS assessments, and to talk with her students about their writing. In this piece we talk about questions and how this teacher’s expert use of query gives her students the encouragement they need to make their writing flow as well as the capacity and skills to unplug the writing of their peers. This cycle informs her instruction and constitutes a major portion of her curriculum. Her commitment to questioning embodies not only her pedagogical content knowledge but her special stance as a curious and critical reader. The students’ responses to their teacher’s questions give her the feedback she needs to decide when and how to incorporate different illustrations and examples into her teaching that will help her students become better writers.

McIver, M. C., & Wolf, S. A. (1998). Writing conferences: Powerful tools for writing instruction (CSE Report 494). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).