Whether in my current position as a Wolfpack WORKS Literacy Coach or as an elementary school classroom teacher, my passion has always been doing what is best for students. This year, one of my goals has been to share with the teachers with whom I work lessons I have learned. I find that as I begin to delve deeper into the “Wolfpack Works Practices and Indicators”, I want to help teachers use their literacy time with students wisely.
Have you ever wondered the following?
- How can I find the time to assess what students are able to do in reading and writing a little more closely?
- What can I do about the students who cannot access information during whole- group literacy instruction?
- When can I carve out a few minutes to provide 1:1 instruction in reading and writing?
- Who is able to assess my students’ literacy development best? Why?
- Where do individual students need support in their reading and writing?
The answer to all of these questions is with or through reading and writing conferencing! Conferring with students for 5-10 minutes once or twice a week can give teachers valuable information about their students.
Reading and writing conferencing can be done individually or in a small group. Students love spending “alone” time with their teacher. They also love talking with their peers and their teacher in a small-group setting.
Keeping a conferencing binder with a page for each student will help with organization. When listening to students read, jot down how students problem solve. When talking with students about their writing, record students’ strengths and areas of need. With this information, students can be provided with specific instruction “on the spot.”
Conferring with students can also provide a time of praise and celebration. Our students need to know what they are doing well in reading and writing!
If you have not tried it, I invite you to add literacy conferencing to your daily schedule. Individual and small-group conferencing benefits both students and teachers greatly!
Rubetta Carr, M.Ed.
Wolfpack Works Literacy Coach