Formal editing conferences in Writers' Workshop

This study was conducted in order to establish the relationship, if any, between the types of editing conference conducted by the teacher and the development of selfediting skills in the students. The writing of six fourth grade students was studied throughout the school year. The teacher prior to the conference edited three of the students' writing. During the conference the teacher explained the editing to the students. The writing of the other three students was not edited prior to the conference; instead the conference was used as a means for the teacher to facilitate the editing while the student did it themselves. The goal was to find out which type of conference helped students to become better self-editors. The findings indicate that the type of conference does not determine the ability to self-edit. The ability to self-edit varied for each student and for each piece of writing. The implications for teaching are that teachers can conference in anyway that they feel is most beneficial for individual students, always remembering that students should be given many opportunities to write and to edit their writing, so that over time they will become competent self-editors.