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Young Learners and Self-Talk

Do you have young readers and writers in your class who constantly talk to themselves? Stella Villalba helps a teacher decode the value of this self-talk for first grader Kayla, using it as a springboard for more learning.

Digital and Disney: Conferring with Ben

It would be easy to zip quickly through a writing conference about a vacation story, especially one about a trip to Disney. In this video, Franki Sibberson slows down with Ben to explore how he is meeting his goal of adding descriptive language to writing, using digital tools to assist.

Student-Led Minilesson: Annotating Reading with Sticky Notes

Students can claim who they are as readers and writers by designing and presenting minilessons to their peers. In this week’s video, fifth grader Reagan from Franki Sibberson’s classroom presents a lesson on annotating reading with sticky notes.

Crafting the Basics: First-Grade Writing Conference

Bitsy Parks confers with Aubrey early in the year, using books from whole-class lessons as a scaffold for understanding key text elements like title, author, and illustrations.

Writing Partner Feedback in Fifth Grade

Fifth-grade writers in Franki Sibberson’s classroom encourage each other and suggest revisions to their opinion writing drafts in partner teams.

First-Grade Writing Conference: Celebrations to Suggestions

Katrina Edwards begins her conference with first grader Allen by celebrating all he is doing well in his writing. She highlights his language and details in writing, before moving on to new strategies to try.

Cause and Effect: Conferring with Olivia

Christy Rush-Levine confers with Olivia about the principle of cause and effect in the novel she is reading.

Linking Pictures and Text: Conferring with Ava

Katrina Edwards begins her conference with first grader Ava by having her share what she learned from a picture walk through a simple text, and then she helps her use pictures to decode text while reading.

History Through a Child’s Eyes: Conferring with Omar

Christy Rush-Levine confers with Omar, who is reading The Rock and the River.  The book is a fictional account of a tumultuous time in civil rights history, considering protests through a child’s eyes.

A Poem About Lost Friendship: Conferring with Estelle

Estelle shares a poem she has written about lost friendship with her teacher, Katherine Sokolowski. She captures the fickle nature of fifth-grade relationships among girls. Katherine connects the cadence of the writing to the style of The Crossover, and helps Estelle find possibilities for more writing.

Reading Conference: Keeping Track of Characters

Christy Ruth-Levine confers with Edith, who is tracking character changes in the novel Room.

From Title to Theme: Conferring with Jadev

Christy Rush-Levine confers with Jadev about how the title of a book often gives clues to its theme.

Writing Routines: Drafting Autonomy

Justin Stygles questions his conferring routine during writing workshops, and the value of interrupting students early in the drafting process.

Understanding War: Conferring with Cam

Christy Rush-Levine confers with Cam, an eighth grader who seeks to understand the complexity of war through the experiences of main characters in novels.

Conference Records That Stay with Kids

Ruth Ayres explains why conferring records that stay with kids are the most useful for teachers.

Conferring Notes

When it comes to conferring notes, form needs to follow function. Dana Murphy quit looking for the perfect template, and started focusing on what kinds of notes are most helpful.

Conferring: Establishing a Setting in a Novel

In this week's video, Aimee Buckner has a quick conference with a fourth grader about ways to solve a dilemma — how to figure out the setting in a historical fiction novel when there are no pictures.

Building a Next-Read Nonfiction Stack

Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Jack build a next-read stack of nonfiction, highlighting a variety of text features and historical references.

Peer Support in Writing Workshop: Conferring with Jaden

Christy Rush-Levine meets with eighth grader Jaden, who talks through his struggles in writing a conclusion to his literary analysis, and how his peers helped him improve the writing.
 

Close Attention and Reading Response: Conferring with Tori

Christy Rush-Levine confers with eighth grader Tori about her reading response to Why We Broke Up. She encourages Tori to make connections between the characters in her current book and her previous reading by paying close attention to surprising action.

First-Grade Conference: Stretching Writing

Katrina Edwards helps her adorable first-grade student Dylan stretch out his writing. He adds details by first talking about playing with friends near his home.

Teaching Fifth Graders to Make Peer Recommendations

Katherine Sokolowski confers with her son Liam and his friend Caden, helping them learn how to make peer book recommendations.

“If You Like” Reading Recommendations Conference

Building "next-read" stacks with students before holidays is a great way to ensure they have books in hand that they will be excited to read over break. Katherine Sokolowski helps Taryn finds books that are similar to those written by Rick Riordan (Taryn's favorite author).

Writing a Strong Conclusion to a Literary Analysis Essay

Christy Rush-Levine helps eighth grader Katherine sort through tools and strategies for writing a strong conclusion to her literary analysis essay.

Eighth-Grade Conference: Empathetic Reading

Christy Rush-Levine confers with eighth grader Julian about his strengths as an empathetic reader.

Super Teacher Reading Workshop

Mary Lee Hahn tries to be super teacher while she confers — juggling goals, assessments, notices and notes . . . and then it all comes crashing down. She shares what she learns from trying to do too much at once and failing.

Conferring in First Grade: Reading Illustrations

Katrina Edwards helps a first grader use pictures to help her make sense of confusing text.

Conferring with Spencer: Writing Notebook Topics

Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Spencer brainstorm topics for his writing notebook.

Celebrating and Nudging: First-Grade Writing Conference

Bitsy Parks takes time to celebrate first grader Colson’s finished writing, even as she nudges him to try a technique shared in the day’s minilesson.

Building a Next-Read Stack

Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Abby build her next-read stack of books.

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