The one-on-one teacher/student conference serves as the model for professional interaction. While the class is working independently or in a quiet group, the teacher schedules time to meet with each student regarding their working draft. This is where the the teacher models the most effective methods for conferencing, including the steps taught to students earlier for the purposes of Peer Editing.
The teacher offers compliments and suggestions on the working draft and reviews the corrections made on the document. This is more than an explanation of the grade the paper earned. This is a 5-7 minute discussion of how this particular writing piece can be improved and which skills the student needs to review in order to perform a successful revision. When the conference is finished, the student takes their writing back and prepares a final draft.
The topics discussed get recorded on a chart that goes into the student’s individual writing folder. This chart allows the teacher to review previous meetings and make sure that progress is being made over the course of the year. A copy of the chart that I use can be found here:
Unless there is need for further revision, this publishable piece is the last word that the student has on the assignment… for now.
It is the teacher’s judgment how harshly this draft should be graded. Typically, I use restraint and look for whether the student made constructive use of the suggestions and corrections I made on the working draft. I try not to mark this document up too much because I use it for later assignments, such as the student portfolio or Vertical Peer Editing and Conferencing.
The final draft is attached on top of the working draft, editor’s comments, rough draft, and prewriting and placed into the student’s writing folder.