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.
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.
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.
Katherine Sokolowski helps one of her fifth-grade students compose a tweet to a favorite author.
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.
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.
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.
Ruth Ayres challenges Grant to add paragraphs to his “finished” piece.
Ruth Ayres meets with Zoey, a quiet writer who is drawn into the conversation through family stories and a mentor text with vivid illustrations.
Mandy Robek demonstrates the strategies of teach, prompt, and reinforce when conferring with kindergartner Jeri.
Ruth Ayres confers with sixth grader Connor about constructing a thesis statement.
Aimee Buckner helps a fourth-grade boy tease out emerging themes in the first pages of the novel Morning Girl.
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.
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