- Research: talk to students, listen to their explanations, see what they can almost do independently; find out what the student can do and where their understandings and possible misconceptions lie; observe
- Decide: reflect on the research, identify what students can do well and give them a specific compliment; choose a teaching point
- Teach: pick a method to teach the teaching point (guided practice, demonstration, explaining and showing an example)
- Link: help the student see how they can use the strategy in the future
Once you've conferred with a student, be sure to use the data to drive your future instruction. To do this, you need to keep good records of your conferences and analyze any patterns you see.
One of the things that prevented me from conferring with students as often as I would have liked was a lack of Workshop management and a lack of an idea of how to effectively confer. I would often work with students individually to help move them from their current understanding to a higher level, however I did not have a tool to record and later analyze this.
To help improve in this area, I created a Conferring Notes organizational pack:
My goal with this is to create a conferring binder where I house all of this information. I'm thinking of getting 1 binder then using different colored paper for math, reading, and writing notes. That way all of my forms for each child are in one place and it's easy to analyze the data!
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