Tomorrow I get to meet with a book study group. We’re going to read Conferring: The Keystone to Reader’s Workshop by Patrick Allen. Deb Gaby, an incredible reading coach for my district is leading the study and asked us to reflect on a few questions before tomorrow.
Write down what you hope to gain from this book study.
- New insights into conferring.
- A deeper understanding of the connections between reading and writing instruction.
- To become stronger at conferring.
Write down a few statements about what you think and/or believe about conferring.
- I believe conferring is the cornerstone of workshop.
- I believe I can always improve at conferring.
- I believe conferring is the heart of differentiated reading and writing instruction.
- I believe keeping conferring notes is essential.
- I believe we sometimes make conferring more complicated than it needs to be.
What is difficult about conferring?
- Meeting with every student in a week or two.
- Choosing the best teaching point.
- Settling the chaos in my mind, focusing, and listening, really listening, to students.
What makes it difficult?
- I’m busy and am constantly thinking about the things I have “to-do.”
- There are lots of kids in a class.
- Often there are many teaching points and it is difficult to figure out the one that will have the biggest impact.
Why do you think conferring is important?
- It provides an opportunity to meet individual needs.
- It gives students a voice and attention.
- It ensures no one “falls through the cracks.”
What works well for you?
- Going to a student and sitting close.
- Giving ample wait time.
- Pausing to consider what a student said.
- Jotting potential teaching points and choosing the one that seems most appropriate.
How about you? Will you take a few minutes to pause and consider this essential component of workshop teaching?
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