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CONFER WITH ME!. A Practical Approach to Reading Workshop…Conferences, Strategies and Ideas.

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  1. CONFER WITH ME! A Practical Approach to Reading Workshop…Conferences, Strategies and Ideas

  2. Confer: v.To meet in order to deliberate together or compare views; consultConference: 1. n. A meeting for consultation or discussion. An exchange of views.2. The act of conferring, as of an academic degree.

  3. One-on-one meetings are the ultimate confidence builders for students. They’re especially effective as follow-ups to (instruction), when students practice a strategy. Your undivided attention to each child makes them feel that you care about their learning and will try to help them understand and improve (Robb 1998, 7-8)

  4. What is a conference?A short interaction between teacher and student during the work time of Readers Workshop. The follow may occur: • Listen to a student read aloud to determine accuracy and fluency • Ask questions regarding what the student is reading to determine comprehension • Demonstrate the strategies of proficient readers, such as self-monitoring by using a look-back strategy • Explain the value of using reading strategies regularly • Reinforce direct instruction done in whole-class settings by repeating a point, such as how to use the Reader’s Notebook/Response Notebook correctly • Converse with the student about any problem you have noticed or that the student has identified • Make recommendations regarding texts the student might enjoy or benefit from reading • Discuss reading habits • Strategize with the student about what needs to happen next • Evaluate the student’s reading accuracy by taking a running record

  5. WHERE ARE WE? WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO DO? What is happening in my classroom and what am I trying to do with it? When we plan we need to remember to ask these questions and forgo “what am I going to say next?”, or “what is my activity for Monday morning?” (Bomer, 1995, 200) Take time to reflect and create the opportunities for you and your students

  6. Conferring Tips: Keep a nurturing tone Give students time to think Follow up with more questions, not answers Listen carefully for distress signals Set goals! Keep simple records Keep the student’s needs driving the conference

  7. Types of Conferences

  8. A “Learning about the Reading Process” Conference Most frequent type of conference Strategies associated with making sense of the text are addressed Comprehension Intrepretation Critique Personal Response Connections (t-t, t-s, t-w) Perspective Opinion Craft Predicting Text bound aspects of reading Summarizing usually occurs

  9. Questions to ask during “Reading Process” Conference • What new things have you tried in your reading lately? • What do you think is going to happen next in the book? • How would you compare this book to ____ • What genre would you classify this book as? • How would you describe this author’s style?

  10. A “Getting-to-Know-You” Conference Typically at the beginning of the year to get to know the student’s strengths, needs, interests, and weaknesses…they in turn get to know your style and structure, and rituals and routines of a conference Give a survey In what ways do you consider yourself to be a good reader? A not so good reader? How many books have you read in the last month? What are the last two things you read? What type of books or magazines do you like to read most? What topics do you like to read about? Do you have a favorite author? What do you like about that author? Does anyone in your family read a lot? Does anyone read aloud to you? What are you favorite books/texts to listen to (on tape or when someone reads aloud to you) Do you read more at home or at school? After giving the survey you can determine fluent readers…meet with your non fluent ones right away so you can get them started on creating and meeting goals For young and emergent readers this survey can be given orally

  11. A “Building a Reading Life” Conference TEACHING STUDENTS HOW READING IS A PART OF THEIR DAILY LIFE inside and outside the classroom Students can gain information and enrich their lives by reading, but some must be explicitly taught this fact Focus on: • Setting reading goals (i.e. reading all the works of a favorite author, find a non-fiction book on a topic of interest, trying new genres, reading for longer periods of time, finding out what types of books they enjoy) • Helping the student understand their surroundings while reading--brainstorming places to read at home and school--helping them schedule when they’re going to be able to read • Bringing people together around books--encouraging book talks among students

  12. QUESTIONS TO ASK DURING A “BUILDING A READING LIFE” CONFERENCE • After reading ___ books on (topic), has your interest changed or shifted in any way? Do you still want to read more about this topic? Has reading about this topic increased your interest in any related topics? • After reading books by ____ do you want to continue reading all of his/her books? • You seem to be moving very quickly through (series or author’s books). Do you think you are ready for something more challenging? • You have tried reading outside, in the library, and in your bedroom. Where do you most enjoy reading? Where does the most effective reading occur? • Whose recommendations for books and other reading do you seem to agree with the most? Is there any possibility for you to form a reading relationship with that person?

  13. A “Making an Evaluation” Conference • Allow you to note the students’ progress while helping the students learn the habits of being reflective, productive, and progressive readers • From the “getting to know you” conference you should be aware of each students’ use of particular strategies..from that knowledge you will determine and evaluate what strategies will be useful for each student. • Running records will be used greatly at this type of conference.

  14. Questions and prompts to begin a “making evaluation” conference • What do you know about the story’s plot? • Tell me what has happened so far in the book you are reading? • Have you reached the climax of the story yet? • Do you feel any attachment to the characters? • Do you feel comfortable with the genre? What do you already know about the genre? • Have you had too much exposure to a particular genre? • How does that reading strategy that we talked aboout last time work for you? • Have you been reading a variety of genres? • Is this book too difficult for you? * • Is the vocabulary unfamiliar? * • What progress have you made toward your reading goals? • What has been your best reading experience yet? • What problems have you encountered in reading this text?

  15. The Strategies of Proficient Readers • Activitating relevant, prior knowledge (schema) before, during and after reading text • Determining the most important ideas and themes in a text • Asking questions of themselves, the author, and the texts they read • Creating visual and other sensory images from text during and after reading • Drawing inferences form the text • Retelling or synthesizing what they have read • Utilizing a variety of fix-up strategies to repair comprehension when it breaks down

  16. A “Taking Action” Conference • These happen when proficient readers really think hard about what they have taken in, and are usually affected by the reading, moved to understand, or “take action” because of the reading…good teachers will support and create these moments during a conference after a student has felt inspired by a text by asking questions like: • How do you feel about what you just read? • Do you think the situation or issue you read about affects your life in any way? • How do you think others feel about this? Have you ever heard family members or friends talk about this issue? • You can also share enthusiasm or show interest by commenting: • What a great idea! • You could write the editor a letter if you feel this way! • See if you can make that happen

  17. CONFER WITH ME! Sources: America’s Choice Reading Monograph Series “Reading Conferences”

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