Workshops & Residencies

In the professional development that Carl does, he speaks about several topics, and works in a variety of ways:


Conferring with Student Writers

As a writing teacher, you know that your students are at different levels, and have different needs. How can you provide just the right instruction that will help each of your students move forward as writers?  In this workshop, Carl Anderson will show you how to answer this question—by having daily writing conferences with your students.  Carl will show you how conferences will help you discover and assess what students are trying to do as writers, and then teach them what they need to learn about navigating the stages of the writing process and how to integrate the qualities of good writing into their narrative, informational and persuasive pieces, so that they grow as writers across the school year.  He’ll discuss the teacher’s role in a writing conference and strategies for helping students play an active role in conferences, and answer the most frequently asked questions about managing conferences in a classroom.  Throughout the workshop, Carl will show videos of his conferences with students to give participants a clear image of effective conferring.

Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Qualities of Writing

Teaching with mentor texts is an essential practice in the teaching of writing.  In this workshop, Carl will explain how you can teach with them in powerful ways.  He’ll discuss where you can find excellent mentor texts appropriate to your grade level that you can use in different units of study.  And he’ll explain how to introduce mentor texts to your class in the beginning of units of study, analyze mentor texts for multiple teaching points, and teach with them effectively in mini-lessons and writing conferences.  During the workshop, participants will get experience with analyzing several mentor texts, and view videos of Carl using mentor texts to teach student writers.

Assessing Writers

In this workshop, Carl Anderson will offer participants smart, ready-to-use ideas and strategies for assessing the writers in their classrooms.   Carl will first discuss assessment lenses that participants will learn to use as they analyze student work.  He’ll show you how to recognized “patterns of approximation” in student writing that will help you know what to teach students next.  And he’ll also talk about the importance of setting assessment-based writing goals for students that can help prioritize what to teach in units of study and in conferences.   Throughout the workshop, Carl will show and discuss typical writing samples from primary and upper grade classrooms, and use them to demonstrate the how-to’s of assessing student writers.

John, Paul, George, Ringo . . . and the Teaching  of Writing

In this presentation, Carl will talk about how studying writers can expand our repertoire of writing strategies and deepen our knowledge of the craft of writing that we draw upon when we teach student writers.  As an example of this kind of in-depth study, Carl will share what he has learned from his lifelong study of The Beatles and their music, and how studying the writing process of band, as well as the craft of their songwriting, has helped him be a better writing teacher.

Professional Development Structures:


Carl is well known for his humorous and informative keynotes about important topics in the teaching of writing, which he can give onsite or online.


Carl does one or multi-day workshops on one or more of the topics listed above, onsite or virtually.  Throughout these fast-paced days, Carl draws upon his sense of humor and classroom experiences as a teacher and staff developer to create enjoyable and useful experiences for participants, who will leave with new understandings about the teaching of writing and strategies they can use in their classrooms the next day.

In-School Residencies

When Carl does onsite or virtual residencies in schools, he works for one or several days with teachers and students.  In some residencies, Carl works with students from the school while teachers observe, and then helps the teachers imagine how they can put into practice what they saw.  In other residencies, Carl does one-one-one coaching with teachers in their onsite or virtual classrooms.

To invite Carl to work with your school or district:

  • If you are a school leader in New York City, contact Carl directly at
  • If you are from a school or district outside of New York City and within the US, contact Michelle Flynn at Heinemann Speakers at (800) 541-2086 ext. 1117, or go to
  • If you are from an international school, you can contact Carl directly at  Or you can contact Michell Flynn at Heinemann Speakers at (800) 541-2085 ext. 1117, or go to