Peer Writing Conferences for Desert Stories

Teacher of Lesson: Teresa Moore
Grade Level: 2/3



  1. After reading the current literature novel, have Beni come and model a peer conference with me. (practiced at lunch). She will listen to me read my draft (very poor one), then compliment me on a couple things. Then she will look at the question sheet to give her ideas for suggestions. I will try to understand her suggestions and mark on my draft or piece of scratch paper her suggestions for change. I will thank her for her helpful suggestions, then let her read her story. Explain that we will allow about twenty minutes for each person's conference. I will tell you when it is suggested to switch. Many of you won't need twenty minutes. Go ahead and switch when you are ready.
  2. Explain that after you have the conference, you and your partner work on making the revisions on your draft paper or recopy it on another piece of paper with the corrections.
  3. We have several students at different stages, written on the back board. ALL of us have finished stage one. We wrote about the setting and characters early last week. Those with stars have to finish or rework some of their draft before they can conference. The drafting tables will be at table five. Remember this is a draft, so don't worry about spellings yet. Just get your ideas down on paper. Once you're in your seat, get to work. When you are done, THEN you may leave your seat to show me your first draft. I will make a conference appointment with you at that time.
  4. Those without stars are meeting with assigned partners today to conference. At the stations around the room, there is a card with your names on them, suggested questions, and scratch paper for conference notes. You should have everything you need there. Please do not leave your stations until both of your conferences and revisions are done. I don't think many people will get to meet with an editor today, but if you finish revising, line up to see Beni or I at the back table.
  5. Beni and I mark the final corrections like punctuation, capitals, and spelling. After we have made these markings with you, go to the computer station. Marissa or Walker will help you get set up to type in your story. Meanwhile, the artists, Andrew and Andres are preparing the book pages for us to mount our final printouts in.
  6. While you are starting conferences, the others who have started on the computer will get a chance to finish typing and spell checking their stories.
  7. Any questions, before I start giving directions for work tables? If you have a question, raise your hand, do not get out of your chair to come to me... especially when I am conferencing with someone else.
  8. Have techies and artists report to their stations (set up at lunch). Have the drafts people sit and finish their drafts. Then call partners to the desks with a pencil. Finally, call Maria to work one-on-one with me and Rosalia to work with Beni. (they need serious help). Begin conferencing!
  9. Call when 20 minutes have gone by to switch soon. Suggest they move on to revising after 20 more minutes.
  10. Just before the period is up, walk around and note the progress of each student to see where we can pick up the next day. (and readjust arrangement of room)
  11. Place all work in your unit folders for tomorrow. Move desks back to position. Fill out work folders. "Peer Conferencing" under the "unit" heading. Show me you are ready to go home.


  1. Did the students follow the questions or guidelines suggested at the tables? Observe occasionally. Were they complementing? Were there apparent changes made or did they just complement and make no corrections at all?
  2. Did the partners sit and listen patiently? (any complaints? any observations of off task behavior?) Did the partner remember what was read well enough to comment on it? Look at drafts for markings and suggestions.)
  3. Arguments? Did the specialized crew work productively? Were their stories completed on the computer? Were pages made for the book structure? Did anyone roam around to others as specifically instructed not to?


Follow up the next day with more conferencing or editing one-on-one. Make a sign up sheet for computer help and typing times. Those who are finished need to place their desert character on the book pages prepared by the artists. Decorate more if they wish. Mount printed story on bright colored construction paper then put opposite of the picture's page.

Peer Conference Tips:

  1. This is what was good:
    I liked the part when...
  2. What is your story problem?
    I think your story problem was....
  3. I didn't understand when...
    How does _______ connect to ______?
  4. You might want to add...
    Is this part really needed?
  5. You start your sentences very well! You used many different words.
  6. Can we think of different ways to start each sentence? You repeated words a lot.

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