I am working with a 5th grade teacher as she tries to hone her conferring skills. The plan is to sit side-by-side and talk to kids about their reading and writing. Although technically I am “coaching” her, I have a feeling we will both be learning equally from each other as we work to get better at reading and writing conferences.
Before we conducted any conferences, we decided to talk about conferring roles with her students. What are our responsibilities during a conference? What are theirs? Together, we constructed this chart:
For the next couple of days, the classroom teacher and I modeled a few conferences. Playing the roles of student and teacher, we role-played some good and some not-so-good conferences. After each conference, we debriefed as a class, using the chart to guide our discussion.
Now, we are ready to dig in and start conferring!