This is a simple peer conference sheet that I would use time and time again in my classroom with good success in order to help promote student engagement, collaboration, and improve writing. I have also included a teacher tip sheet with some pointers for a more successful implementation.
Though this was originally created for use with a personal narrative, the items on the list, from which the student author is to circle their greatest area of need for their partner to help him or her tackle, can easily be revised to fit the nature of the assigned writing piece (expository, poetry, etc.).
By simply replacing a few words on this resource, this sheet can also be modified to fit a teacher/student conference as well.
Peer conferencing is a VERY powerful tool in the classroom, but it's definitely not something I to just throw out there without any modeling. Without strong examples given for what a successful writing conference should look like/sound like, conferences will most likely result in surface level thinking with little progress gained.
How would I do it? Well, I always took a few minutes to brainstorm with students the benefits of peer conferences for their writing, as well as go over some characteristics of how good peer conferences might look and sound. Then, I would grab a student or two and demonstrate a few examples of peer writing conferences in action--the most powerful demonstrations, of course, were always the WHAT NOT TO DO during a peer conference, and these were also the examples that usually spawned quite a few belly laughs in the classroom, too. ;-) The modeling and such sounds like a lot to do, but it's not! In fact, it's a time saver and fun, too! It will make a HUGE difference in student engagement, and it will help lead to the successful outcomes you are seeking.
I hope you find this as an easy-to-use resource that brings great results for you and your students! I find that most success with resources such as these come from the repetition of use. Don't just use this once and then put it away for the year! Allow students to have the opportunity to become familiar with the process and build confidence in what they are doing! Sometimes, that repetition can make all the difference in the world...