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.
Ruth Ayres confers with fourth grader Braden about the importance of inviting cover art for the book he's written about a vacation.
Sean Moore confers with second grader Teague, masterfully demonstrating how to move between instruction and celebration when conferring with a child who struggles with reading.
Karen Terlecky confers with Alex, a fifth grader who needs help choosing books for independent reading.
Ruth Ayres confers with first grader Alexis about her visit to the doctor for a shot. The conference focuses on illustrations and labeling.
Sean Moore teaches second grader Mikhail some strategies for learning words in a conference.
Ruth Ayres confers with second grader Max about the drama of losing his dog, and the value of using two-page spreads to tell a story.
Aimee Buckner confers with fourth grader Samantha about reading a series and tackling challenging vocabulary at the same time in this brief video.
Franki Sibberson confers with fourth grader Yuki to expand his reading options into more complex series and mysteries.
Ruth Ayres confers with third grader Jade about the importance of the “collecting” phase for writers.
In this brief conference, Katie Baydo-Reed chats with an eighth grader as he previews The Wednesday Wars and makes connections to the main character.
Katie DiCesare chats with first grader Sebastian in this one-minute conference, then shares her reflections on where Sebastian might go next in his reading.
Katie DiCesare confers with first grader Jack, using rereading to help him rethink the title of his story and possibilities for revision.
Aimee Buckner teaches a fourth grader a strategy for using a sticky note to keep track of characters when there are multiple narrators in a novel.
Ruth Ayres explains how deciding the purpose of conferring in advance can lead to more powerful conferences.
Katherine Sokolowski describes how she worked over the past few years to initiate better reading conferences.
Tony Keefer confers with fourth grader Tommy to help him write a stronger ending.
Ruth Ayres confers with Ezra about revision — using a mentor text to help him move from reporting to crafting in his writing.
If you’ve ever used a Kindle Reader, you might be fascinated by the highlighted notes of other readers. Franki Sibberson uses those notes in a conference with Nicole.
Ruth Ayres confers with kindergartner Dalton early in the year, focusing on his illustrations to build storytelling skills.
Katie DiCesare confers with Jack and Praneel about their partner reading.
Katie DiCesare meets with first graders Anna and Brendan to help them learn from each other and prepare to share their rereading strategies with the whole class.
Cathy Mere finds the early days of school are all about kidwatching and connecting with her first-grade students during reading and writing workshops. She shares some terrific guiding questions that might also help new teachers hone their observation skills.
Melissa Styger confers with a fourth-grade student who is reading two novels simultaneously, and shares her criteria for determining when it’s appropriate for students to read multiple texts.
Sean Moore confers with second grader Mia, gently encouraging her to work from her strengths by writing about what she knows well.
Tony Keefer confers with Amanda, a fourth grader who comprehends texts well, but struggles at times with fluency, decoding, and book selection.
Kelly Petrin shares the power of response journals with preschoolers.
Stella Villalba confers with first grader Jocelyn about the information text she is writing about bunnies. Jocelyn is an English language learner, and this conference demonstrates the value of oral rehearsal for young ELL writers.
In this video from Katie Baydo-Reed’s 8th grade classroom, Katie confers a student about his favorite Rick Riordan books and his plans for future reading.
Melissa Kolb finds her three- and four-year-old students are ready for more focus during reading time.
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