According to Dr. Stephanie Affinito, author of the “The Coaching Sketchnote Book,” thin-slicing is a way to pare down information so “we can make quick, yet meaningful, decisions about a set of data in front of us.” The heart of the lesson is conferencing: as students work on reading and writing independently, teachers pull up a chair with each student and discuss their successes, survey the work, practice new strategies, and encourage them to take risks. Grade 3 teachers recently used this method for a persuasive writing unit. Persuasive writing and speaking were new to most students. By the end of the unit, students would draft a speech to persuade their audience, supported with facts and evidence. Katherine Purton shared, “my team had deeper discussions about our student’s writing ability before we started the unit, and we added lessons in to support weaknesses.” For example, teachers built in extra support in paragraphing, structure, and reasoning with facts and evidence. Another teacher shared that the process made planning and conferences easier. According to a Grade 3 student and a proud new dog owner, “My teacher loves to talk to me and help me, and I persuaded my mom to get a dog! One fact is they are good for your health!” Students loved this genre of writing and have been successfully persuading ever since.