Reader's Workshop Conferences - Mrs. B's First Grade

Reader's Workshop Conferences

I have taught young students to read for thirteen years now. The practices I have used to do this have been ever evolving. I have taught the workshop model for the past three years. I love it. Although, I have *finally* mastered the art of conferring which is SO important within the model (and many other models.) Want to know my secret? Read on!

As I have taught reading over the years, I have moved from guided reading to one on one conferring. It works really well for me.

However, learning how to structure the conference has been challenging for me. At times I felt like I was just winging it. Until this year.

Okay, so maybe I wasn't winging it. I felt like a mess though. I had several books with suggestions for guided reading levels. Random papers I had collected through the years. A huge binder that collected dust. I ended up just talking with my kids and hoped that worked.

They made progress, but never remembered what we talked about. They also didn't know what they should be working on. My process needed to be improved.

I thought and thought about how I could improve this practice this summer. I came up with so many drafts, but finally figured out the perfect one.
I needed it to be simple.
I needed it to be meaningful.
I needed it to be aligned with guided reading standards.
I needed it to be goal orientated.
I needed my kids to understand what their goal was.
I needed it to be easy.

I came up with my Reading Level Notebook and Student Goal Tracking Sheets.

Here's how it works.

I bound all of the reading level sheets in a notebook. There is one sheet per guided reading level. I have DRA sheets also.

I flip to the ONE SHEET while conferring with my students. The sheet has everything I need to coach them through before reading, while reading, after reading. Plus scaffolding and prompts to support comprehension, scaffolding and prompts to support fluency, and scaffolding and prompts to support decoding. I have broken this down for each guided reading / DRA level through O / 34.
I would love to eventually add on. I do not have a lot of experience beyond O though, and wanted to make sure this resource was from tried and true practice.

While I am conferring with students, I keep notes on a google doc that I have set up for each of them. It's beyond easy to make and looks like below. I start each conference by going over what we talked about last time.
At the end of our conference. I give my students a goal for the week. I get it from my reading level sheet. I put it on a sticky note and stick it on their student tracker page. They put the page in a page protector and keep it in their book box.
This process WORKS! I have been doing it from the start of school and have never felt more confident with my conferring.

Plus, the student tracker pages have been an added bonus. My kids take them so seriously.
It has helped them tremendously with setting their own goals for their independent reading time, and for making sure they read a good mix of fiction and nonfiction.

Want to try it for yourself? Click the picture below to be taken to my store.
How do you hold your reading conferences? I would love to hear more!

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