The teachable moment is what we live for - is there anything more magic than reaching a reader or writer with exactly the right words at exactly the right time? We've bottled some of that magic in the resources that follow, with print guidelines and scores of video examples from master teachers.
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.
Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Jack build a next-read stack of nonfiction, highlighting a variety of text features and historical references.
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.
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.
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.
Katherine Sokolowski confers with her son Liam and his friend Caden, helping them learn how to make peer book recommendations.
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).
Christy Rush-Levine helps eighth grader Katherine sort through tools and strategies for writing a strong conclusion to her literary analysis essay.
Christy Rush-Levine confers with eighth grader Julian about his strengths as an empathetic reader.
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.
Katrina Edwards helps a first grader use pictures to help her make sense of confusing text.
Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Spencer brainstorm topics for his writing notebook.
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.
Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Abby build her next-read stack of books.
In this week’s video, Gigi McAllister helps fourth grader Aidan revise his writing on the computer to flesh out character development.
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.
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.
Ruth Ayres answers a question from teachers, Do I really have to keep conferring notes? Spoiler alert: The answer is yes.
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. Download a question list to use during your writing conferences.
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.
Katrina Edwards confers with first grader Dylan, teaching this young English language learner the value of picture walks for comprehension.
Ruth Ayres gives her best advice for honing your conferring skills with this succinct list of tips for better conferences.
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.
Jennifer Schwanke and Franki Sibberson share four perspectives on student-led conferences — teacher, principal, student, and parent.
Andrea Smith uses a reading conference with fourth grader Zoe to preview a book.
Melanie Meehan shares strategies and prompts for helping easily distracted young learners focus in conferences.
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.
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.
Melanie Meehan chats with second-grade teacher Nadia Egan about her ingenious use of table charts to enhance conferences and whole-class instruction.
Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Ben brainstorm ideas for writing, and in the process encourages him to try a new genre.
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