What are Reading Conferences?
I LOVE doing reading conferences. Reading conferencing with students is a quick, one on one conversation that you have with your students about what they are reading and how they can become better readers. It’s that simple.
Why do Reading Conferencing with Students?
Reading conferences help you as the teacher get to better know your students! This precious one-on-one time with your students to help you with differentiating your reading instruction, getting to know your individual students better, and helping them along with their reading! These conferences are short, sweet, and to the point, but so important!
What are the other students doing while I conference?
My favorite activity for my students to do while I am conferencing is to read! They can read out of their book boxes, read any passages, poems, etc…that they have read during reading groups or with the whole class. This is also a time when you could have your students read on their devices (if you have them). Some of my favorite sites for my students go to on (I am not affiliated in any way, just enjoy using these sites):
FREE Sites: Storyline Online, EPIC (free during the school day), Tumblebooks, and Just Books Read Aloud.
Paid Sites: Razkids, Lyrics2learn, and Vooks!
This does take some time and practice. We spend the first few weeks of school building up our reading stamina. You can see how I do this and grab some freebies by reading this post HERE!
If you are a center person, this is a great time to do reading centers (as long as your students can do them independently so that you can do conferences).
How do I plan for conferences?
The first time I do reading conferences is after we have built up our stamina and the children can be independent in whatever they are working on. I usually go to them where they are in the room, but you could call them over to your desk or small group area as well. The first conference that I do is usually just a “get to know you” conference. We talk a little about whether they like reading, what they like reading, what they are reading at home. This gives me a general sense of where my students are as far as preferences go. This also helps me to make book recommendations, and to choose read alouds.
I then use my reading data to plan for small groups and individual conferences. I try to get to 1 small group and 2-3 individual conferences a day. This is really all my small group time allows for. We do something in our school called WIN (What I Need). This is the time where my kiddos get pulled for their various services, so the group that I have left is smaller. I try to meet with my lowest needs kiddos 2x per week either in small groups or individually, and my moderate needs kids 2x per week. My highest needs kiddos usually are in RTI or focused small groups, so I try to touch base with them for individual conferences or small groups on the days that they don’t go for their small group intervention. It does take some time to figure out the schedule, but once it is in place, I really try to stick to it!
I use my digital Reading Reading Conference Notebook to plan and organize all of my student’s reading data! It is super handy! You can check it out here:
It really is a great way to keep up with all of my reading (and writing) conferences! You can find it in my store HERE!
Other items that might come in handy for Reading Conferencing with Students:
Organizing for Reading Conferences
I did a whole post about organizing for reading conferences! You can find it HERE! This post has lots of great information about how I organize my paper conferring notebook (if you prefer paper/pencil), how I organize my materials and my reading conference spot! It is really worth the read if you have the time!
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