- Leave a comment at the end of this post.
- Write a post about your reflections, and place your link in the comments below. I will then update this post to include a link your blog.
- Comment on Twitter using the hashtag #cyberPD.
- Visit other blog reflections and comment.
Reading the conference scripts in this section made me reflect on exactly what my purpose is when conferring with a student. I have decided that the main purpose is to notice where the student is and help them grow a bit in their thinking. I often felt like since I couldn't meet with each student every day that I needed to make the most of this short time with them and pack as much as possible into the conference. I will be trying to slow myself down during my conferences in the future and focusing on one thing at a time.
The other topic that I was very anxious to learn about was note-taking and/or record keeping. I, too, have used many, many different types of record keeping but I noticed that I really didn't refer back to my notes. After reading the section Conferring Versus Collecting (pages 107 and 108), I realized that I need to stop taking notes just to have notes and that I need to think about exactly what information I would actually use if I recorded it. I haven't quite figured this out yet but I know that I will be thinking about it a lot as we get closer to those first few days of school.
One thing that I have noticed about my conferring in the past was that when I did get frustrated with my various note-taking systems and just gave up on them, my actual conferring was better. I wasn't distracting myself with thinking about what I was going to write down at the end of this conference. I think that if I create a plan or list of notes that I will actually use, it will also free me up to really listen to the student I am conferring with and not be collecting a series of notes that I won't use. So before my first conference this year I need to generate that list so my students will get my full attention.
One quote from this section that I just loved and I think pretty much says it all (for me) was by Bev Bos:
What your children take home in their hearts is far more important than what they take home in their hands. (p. 139)Today's Discussion
- Karen from Literate Lives notices in her post, Conferring reflection - Part 2, that the book Conferring is so comfortable and easy to read that it is almost like having a personal conversation with Patrick Allen. She also notes how important it is to have another teacher you can talk to about how your conferring is going.
- We are so happy that Deb Frazier of Primary Perspective is able to join us for this discussion. Deb shares with us her note-taking system and lets us know what she has learned and will be adding to her system to make it work better for her in her post, Conferring The Keystone of Reader's Workshop ~ Part 2.
- Tony Keefer from atychiphobia was able to skillfully connect Patrick Allen with the punk rock group The Ramones in his reflection, Learn to Listen: #cyberPD. You will need to check this out to see for yourself but I will let you in on the secret that it is all about the importance of listening.
- In Conferring: Improving Conversations with Readers, Cathy Mere from Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community begins at the beginning by sharing with us how her Reader's' Workshop is structured. She then talks about the reasons for conferring, the challenges of conferring and her plan for conferring in the future.
- Laura Komos, from Our Camp-Read-A-Lot, reflects on the language we use with students when we confer with students in her post, An Open Mind and a Listening Ear - Conferring Part 2. She also hops up on her soap box for a rant that we can all appreciate.
- The "D word, data" and the "C word, children" are the focus of Shelley Carter's post, Reflections on Conferring - Part 2, on her blog Thoughts of a Teacher. Shelley wants her conferences with students to center on the "C word, children".
- Barbara's post, Reflection... Conferring The Keystone of Reader's Workshop: Part 2 (Rigor) on her blog, Love to Teach Reading and Writing is all about rigor. Barbara shares her plan for how she will promote rigor in her classroom this year.
- On her blog, Reading Amid the Chaos, Chris talks about how we as teachers need to "shut up and listen" in her post, Nurturing and listening to our reading apprentices. She points out that the things we learn when we listen to our students speak are the things that are great to share with their parents.
- Julie from Raising Readers and Writers, discusses the struggles that we can face when trying to find a system to keep track of our conference notes in her post, Cyber PD Conferring: The Keystone of Reader's Workshop. She reminds us to be patient and willing to tweak our system until we find the one that works for us.
- Carol talks about sharing our theoretical grounding with other teachers in her post, Conferring Cyberclub - Part 2 at Carol's Corner. She also makes a very good point that the type of listening we do in a conference with a student is the same type of listening we should do as parents.
- In her post Conferring: The Keystone of Reader's Workshop Part 2, Mandy from Enjoy and Embrace Learning shares with us her thinking about the challenges of implementing any type of conferring in kindergarten. She is taking on the challenge and creating a new system of note-taking to help her along the way.
- Michelle, from Literacy Learning Zone, tells us that she feels that her reading conferences in the past would sometimes "just skim the surface like a rock skipping across the pond" in her post, Cyber PD: Conferring - Part 2. She then lets us all in on her 5 conferring goals for the upcoming year.
- In her post, Conferring Part II Reflection, Nicole from Nicole's Book Nook, shares how reading Part 2 helped "clear up" her thinking about conferring in kindergarten. She also mentions that some of her new goals for conferring are some of the same things that she has been working on during other parts of her day.
Part 1: What Brings About a Good Conference, Anyway?
Hosted by Cathy Mere at Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community
Part 2: What are the Essential Components of Conferring?
Hosted by me at My Primary Passion
Part 3: What Emerges from Our Reading Conferences?
Hosted by Laura Komos at Camp Read-A-Lot
To Be Announced