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Building a Next-Read Stack

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

Digital Revision: Conferring with Aidan

In this week’s video, Gigi McAllister helps fourth grader Aidan revise his writing on the computer to flesh out character development.

Brainstorming Writing Topics with Drew

Katherine Sokolowski confers with Drew about writing at home, brainstorming possible topics. In the process she shows how much she knows about Drew's life outside of school.

First-Grade Conferring: A Two-Word Picture Book

Bitsy Parks shows how even the simplest picture book can lead to powerful conferring. In this example, a first-grade English language learner is reading a picture book that uses only two words in the text.

Do I Really Have to Keep Conferring Notes?

Ruth Ayres answers a question from teachers, Do I really have to keep conferring notes? Spoiler alert: The answer is yes.

 

Conferring Questions

Ruth Ayres finds there can be a difference between questions in writing conferences that inspire an enthusiastic response, and those that foster more reflection and independence.

Best First Drafts

Ruth Ayres confers with fourth grader Nicole and reinforces advice from her mom about capitalizing proper nouns, as well as the importance of applying what you know about conventions in first drafts.

Picture Walks for Comprehension: Conferring with Dylan

Katrina Edwards confers with first grader Dylan, teaching this young English language learner the value of picture walks for comprehension.

The Power of Group Conferences in Fifth Grade

Katherine Sokolowski explains why group conferences can be a powerful tool for building a reading community. The article includes a video of a group conference in her fifth-grade classroom.
 

Top 10 Conferring Tips

Ruth Ayres gives her best advice for honing your conferring skills with this succinct list of tips for better conferences.

Student-Led Conferences from Many Perspectives

Jennifer Schwanke and Franki Sibberson share four perspectives on student-led conferences — teacher, principal, student, and parent.

Previewing a Book with Zoe

Andrea Smith uses a reading conference with fourth grader Zoe to preview a book.

The Importance of Their Words

Melanie Meehan shares strategies and prompts for helping easily distracted young learners focus in conferences.

How to Keep Conferring Notes

Ruth Ayres shares her grid notes sheet, and takes teachers step-by-step through the process of using this assessment tool in conferences and instruction.

Finding Clues in Writing Folders

Katrina Edwards looks for clues in her first-grade students’ work and conferences to help them develop more writing stamina. She analyzes her notes to develop instructional plans.

Table Charts in Second Grade

Melanie Meehan chats with second-grade teacher Nadia Egan about her ingenious use of table charts to enhance conferences and whole-class instruction.

Conferring with Ben: Brainstorming Writing Topics and Genres

Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Ben brainstorm ideas for writing, and in the process encourages him to try a new genre.

Tweeting a Favorite Author

Katherine Sokolowski helps one of her fifth-grade students compose a tweet to a favorite author.

The Compliment Conference

Katrina Edwards confers with Camilla, a struggling reader. She is a child who has no confidence in herself. The Compliment Conference is a way to acknowledge and build upon Camilla’s strengths, and boost her self-esteem at the same time.

Kindergarten Reading Conference: Building Confidence

Mandy Robek finds that kindergartner Mikey is lost in knowing how to use his time well during reading workshop. Her conference moves him from deflated to inspired.

Risk and All

Tom Romano meets with Kacie, a student writing about an experience that shames her. He ponders the importance of facing the darkest parts of our experiences when we write. This is an exclusive excerpt from Tom's new book, Write What Matters.

Conferring Over “Finished” Writing

Ruth Ayres challenges Grant to add paragraphs to his “finished” piece.

Making Home Connections While Conferring

Ruth Ayres meets with Zoey, a quiet writer who is drawn into the conversation through family stories and a mentor text with vivid illustrations.

Conferring with Jeri in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek demonstrates the strategies of teach, prompt, and reinforce when conferring with kindergartner Jeri.

A Thesis Statement: Conferring with Connor

Ruth Ayres confers with sixth grader Connor about constructing a thesis statement.

Beginning a Novel with Close Reading

Aimee Buckner helps a fourth-grade boy tease out emerging themes in the first pages of the novel Morning Girl.

From Strengths to Revision: Conferring with Connor

Karen Terlecky confers with fifth-grade Connor about his writing, demonstrating the routine of celebrating strengths first, and then making suggestions of new techniques to try.

Restarting a Writing Draft in Fourth Grade

Beth Lawson confers with Michael, a fourth-grade writer who struggles with focus and basic conventions.

“How Can I Help?” Conference

Ruth Ayres helps a fourth grader reflect on whether she is finished with her personal narrative, and how Ruth might assist her.

Conferring with Boys in Sixth Grade

Katie Doherty confers with boys in her sixth-grade reading workshop. This is the second installment in a two-part video series.

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