Reading and Conferring

Before Conferring: After the mini-lesson, students need to be reminded of a few important factors before they are set free to read on their own.

Each day let students know:
  • What skill they should be practicing
  • What they should be doing
  • How they should go about doing it, and
  • Why it is important to practice that skill

During Conferring:
Once students are off on their own the teacher’s work is not done. Conferring is essential to the reading workshop because it allows teachers to not only see what concepts the students are grasping, but also what areas need to be followed up with enrichment activities.

Sitting down next to a young reader and simply asking, “How’s it going?” or “What can you tell me about this book?” gives teachers a good insight into the understanding each student has on the topics taught.

Taking notes:
While conferring, teachers should take detailed notes about the students they work with each day. This process not only helps when it comes to grading or conferences, but it also allows the teacher to see which students they are making contact with and which students have similar difficulties. By taking notes on each student the teacher can also see what gains are being made.

Suggestions for what details to record about each student:
  • Date
  • What lesson you taught that day
  • What the student is reading
  • What you talked about with the student
  • Goal for next conference with you
  • If they showed an understanding of recent mini-lessons

*A tip to make this simple and organized is to use an attendance sheet and various colors of pens. The attendance sheet will help you see what students you have conferred with and who you still need to reach. Using different color pens each day will help you decipher which students you met with on each day and what topic was taught.

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