WHAT IT IS:
From The Writing Strategies Book, the Phone a Friend strategy is a self-regulation strategy for seeking help when stuck.
HOW IT WORKS:
This strategy is designed to help students process the roadblock or challenge they are experiencing. The teacher teaches students how to implement this strategy explicitly then encourages its use during the writing process.
When facing a roadblock or obstacles preventing progress, whether in planning or drafting or otherwise, the student consults with another writer (student) to voice the challenge, describing current thinking and goals, current obstacles or frustrations, and/or possible outcomes or solutions. The other student offers any encouragement or ideas, but suggestions are not necessary to the strategy.
After voicing the challenge, the student is encouraged to immediately return to the writing.
Consider assigning formal partnerships or groups for this purpose so that students build trust and rapport over time with a consistent peer or peer group. Also consider assigning a designated physical location to this type of conversation (e.g. a different area in the room).