Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers

Slice of Life Tuesday: Week of Writing with Carl Anderson


This summer is flying! I cannot believe it’s been a week since the big wind storm that knocked out power to our home. It’s been two weeks since I attended the summer writing workshop with Carl Anderson, thanks to the lovely staff at Indiana Partnership for Young Writers. Lots of learning, lots of fun, and even a tornado warning. (Spending a 1/2 hour in the basement of a school can be quite enlightening.) Carl didn’t seem to mind. We got back to writing and conferring with our “video children” quickly.

Of course, I learned a great deal about writing and conferring with young writers. I realized, however, that much of the learning in my brain was “reflective learning” — I heard the information before, but I thought about the last school year and how I could have made writing workshop better. Now that the learning is back to the forefront of my thinking, I plan to use the knowledge in a different way in the fall. These are some of the tips Carl gave that I plan to use right away next school year:

1) Writing is a slow-to-grow activity. Take it slowly.

2) Conferences are just conversations. “How’s it going?” with a goal/purpose.

3) Use the consistent, predictable structure of the conference: research, decide, teach.

4) Most of the lessons you will teach deal with focus and detail. Worry about grammar in the editing stage.

5) Ask, “What is the writer saying?” and “How does the writer go about getting his/her point across?”

6) Bonus: You should look for skills and strategies to teach — NOT how to pass the test! (My favorite.)

That was just the first day. I plan to refocus and reflect more on writing workshop in the coming weeks, as I look forward to a great new year of teaching.

Now that the power is on, I have some vacationing to do! Have a great week!




Author: Jennifer Sniadecki

I write about literacy education and my love for reading and writing. My passion is sharing titles I use for school libraries, classroom collaborations, and professional development. My goal is to collaborate, research, and share with other life-long literacy learners. Welcome to my blog!

5 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: Week of Writing with Carl Anderson

  1. Sounds like a great presentation! I just finished Stacey Shubitz and Ruth Ayers book about reflective practice in writer’s workshop and am thinking along the same lines you are. I’m thinking about all I have done before, and what I want to eliminate, or repeat, or add in. I love the advice about conferences being conversational.

  2. Those are all great points. In this world of everything needing to happen instantly, developing a slow to grow skill is perhaps more necessary than ever.
    I’m visiting from the Slice of Life prompt.

  3. What great tips – My favorite is: Writing is a slow-to-grow activity. Take it slowly. It’s hard though, right? So much to do, so little time. I might write “Take it slowly” on my chalkboard this coming year as a reminder to myself!

  4. Those are great take-aways! I think I’m going to borrow them. 🙂

  5. #6 was my favorite “conference commandment” too! Happy vacationing.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.