4What do the “Experts” Believe About Conferring? “We have evidence that opportunities to engage in discussion are related to improved achievement.”Richard AllingtonWhat Really Matters to Struggling Readers“If a teacher can listen to a writer talk about her writing, and then can skim what the child has done so far and intervene in ways that lift the level not only of this piece of writing but of the child’s work on future pieces, that teacher’s conferences are a Very Big Deal. That teacher’s children will learn to write in powerful ways.”Lucy CalkinsOne to One
5What do the “Experts” Believe About Conferring? During the children’s independent reading workshop, teachers have very challenging work to do, too. While the children read privately or with partners, the teacher moves around the room providing direct instruction. In order to do this, we need to know our students as readers, a variety of ways to support their reading development, and how to teach the strategies they need to grow as readers.Kathy CollinsGrowing Readers
6What Does Our Reading and Writing Curricula Believe About Conferring? Units of Study for Primary Writers:“We need to coach into what children do, so that we help them make great strides as learners. In the teaching of primary writing, the quality of work that children do has everything to do with the quality of teaching they receive.”“Although conferences appear to be warm, informal conversations, they are in fact highly principled teaching interactions, carefully designed to move writers along learning pathways.”
7What Does Our Reading and Writing Curricula Believe About Conferring? Making Meaning:“Students independently practice the comprehension strategies they have learned to make sense of their texts. The teacher helps them choose appropriate books from a classroom collection of books at different levels, and she regularly monitors their independent reading fluency and comprehension”
8What Do We About Believe About Conferring? Talk to the teachers around you about:your current use of conferences in your class.any challenges you face while conferring.any successes you have celebrated regarding conferring.what you hope to learn today that can support your current instruction.
9Framework for Writing Conferences There are five components of a writing conference:ResearchDecideComplimentTeachSend Off
15Methods of Teaching in Writing Conferences Pages VI - VIII in The Conferring HandbookGuided PracticeAfter naming what will be taught, the teacher conducts guided practice of the skill that can be replicated during independent writing.DemonstrationAfter naming will be taught, the teacher shows the writer how to do something. Then the teacher allows the student to try what was demonstrated.Explicitly Tell and Show an ExampleAfter explicitly telling the student what will be learned and practiced, the teacher then provides examples of professional authors or other student authors.InquiryRarely used with primary writers. Students are invited to study something and extrapolate the principles they need to learn.
16Sample Writing Conferences “Big Lessons from Small Writers”Conference 13Launching, Small Moments, Revision (5 minutes)Lucy teaches Jacob a strategy for revising: Use details from your picture to help you add details to your story, and add paper where there is more to write.Conference 10Launching, Small Moments (4 minutes)Amanda teaches Bejide a strategy for putting stories on paper: Storytell and then represent that story on the page.
17Structured Conference Practice Find and work with one partner – you don’t need to be at the same grade level.Partner 1 assumes the role of student and Partner 2 assumes the role of teacher.Use the writing samples for the “teacher’s” grade levelSwitch roles and repeat.If there is extra time you can practice with the additional writing samples.Skiing Partner
18Framework for Reading Conferences ResearchQuestion the student about what he has read so far; check for understandingStudent reads a passage; check for fluency and decoding.Probe the student’s thinking;ask questions about the passageExplore the student’s comprehensionBase your questioning on what you know about the student’s reading and previous goals set in reading conferences.
19Framework for Reading Conferences DecideDecide if student has made progress towards previous goals.Refer to current and past teaching and judge whether student is using these lessons.Choose a specific skill or strategy you will instruct the child on today.ComplimentName what the child has been doing in his reading .Deliver praise for what the child is doing or is attempting to do.
20Framework for Reading Conferences TeachName the individual teaching point.Demonstrate the skill or strategy to the student or provide guided practiceEngage in discussion with the student about this teaching point.Send OffSend the student back to reading with instructions.Ensure the student is clear on your teaching point and his reading goal.
21Using the IDR Conference Form and Other Recording Forms There is a conference form included in the Making Meaning curriculum for first through fifth grade.The IDR Conference form follows the conference framework and helps provide structure to the conference.There are many ways to record conferences and maintain clear progress of a student’s learning goals, successes, and continued needs.
22Sample Reading Conferences “The Joy of Conferring”Conference with MollyQuestioning Simple TextsDebbie confers with Molly and shows how important it is to engage in conversations about comprehension even with the simplest text.Conference with JackDecoding and Sight Word VocabularyDebbie confers with Jack about what to do when he comes to a word that is tricky. She prompts him to express orally what he does when he needs to “figure out” a word.
23Structured Conference Practice Find and work with one partner – you don’t need to be at the same grade level.Partner 1 assumes the role of student and Partner 2 assumes the role of teacher.Use the reading selections for the “teacher’s” grade level.Switch roles and repeat.If there is extra time you can practice with the additional reading selections.
24Management Strategies What do you do with the “others” when you are busy conferring with a student?Think about management strategies that you use with your students when conferring or working with small groups.Using the sticky notes at your table, write a management strategy that is effective in your classroom. Post on the chart to share with the whole group.
25“Next Steps” for our Classrooms Think about your students and peruse any conference records you brought with you.How am I going to use today’s learning to impact my instruction?What are some areas of growth for my teaching?What are some areas of needed growth for my students’ reading and writing?Share with the teachers at your table what you are taking away today .
26Conferring Resources One to One (Lucy Calkins) Growing Readers (Kathy Collins)
27Conferring Resources How’s It Going? (Carl Anderson) Reading with Meaning(Debbie Miller)
28Conferring ResourcesThe Art of Teaching Reading and The Art of Teaching Writing (Lucy Calkins)
29Conferring Resources About the Authors (Katie Wood Ray) How to Align Literacy Instruction, Assessment, and Standards(Nancy Akhavan)
30Conferring Resources First Grade Writers (Stephanie Parsons) What Really Matters for Struggling Readers(Richard Allington)