Grade: 3-5
Subject: 4 Blocks

#1132. stars and wishes conferencing in writing workshop

4 Blocks, level: Elementary
Posted Fri Jun 25 20:52:11 PDT 1999 by deb (
coloma elementary , south haven, MI USA
Concepts Taught: conferencing in writing

Conferencing Using Stars and Wishes Technique
Writing Workshop mini lesson conferencing using stars and wishes technique
1. Focus on stars part.
Author shares piece. Class listens carefully. When beginning this process remember modeling (showing kids how) is the thing that will break or make this.
What was interesting?
What surprised them?
Wow that's good!
I liked the part about ...
Tell me what you liked about the story.
This reminded me of when ...
Why did the author do this...
What did they like about...
What did they remember?

Use a book, a poem, nursery rhymes (instead of student's writing) at first to model how to do memorable and more conferences. Ask questions like: What did you like about the book? What did you like about the poem? I liked the part of the book/poem that... Complete whole group, small group, knee-to-knee or shoulder to shoulder.

Next day, read another poem. Tell me what did you like about the poem. Tell another student. Why did the author do this? What they like? What they remember. If the author could change something what would you change?

Remember to MODEL! Do whole group then small group then peer!

2. Focus on the stars and add the more.
Remember these children are vulnerable!!!! Be careful of egos!!!!!!!!! Writing is really personal.
The steps are 1. Author reads piece
2. Stars (see step 1)
3. Author reads piece again
4. Wishes (I wonder about...)

Teacher should model whole group on how to make helpful appropriate comments. What part was confusing? What part needs to be more clear? Start with having to say one thing that you wonder about. Don't tolerate the negative comments. How does "stupid" help the writer? This is what I like. This is what I wonder. When you wrote ________ then _________ . How did that happen? Teachers can write the kids comments on a paper and give it to the author. How can you we talk about the piece and make changes? In third grade use steps 1 and 2. Then read piece, memorable, read piece, using "more" to push plot development. In fourth grade use steps 1 and 2 at the beginning of year, use model as they don't need the model can quit using.