Monday, 20 August 2012

Conquering Conferring

We all know that the focused mini-lesson is an integral part of our workshops.  Having said that, I remember what Janine King said once: "One of the most powerful way to move students forward as readers and writers is through the one-on-one and group conferences."   Not only that, conferring with our readers and writers regularly allows us to:

  • track student growth over time
  • ensure that every student is targeted at his/her level
  • follow up with students on goals/last teaching points
  • collect authentic and anecdotal data that we can use later
  • gather groups of similar readers and writers for an additional focused mini-lesson
  • pick up new strategies and techniques that our students are doing on their own

While we're all continuing to fine-tune our conferring skills, there's the logistical aspect of conferring that we can easily conquer by using our iPads and the Confer app. I know, I know, not another techie thing, right? Before you decide on whether you'd use it or not, check out this online introduction:

When I saw the quick grouping feature, I was hooked.  I used to keep notes and cross-check them to try and find out which kids needed what.  With this app though, it's just a click away.  Of course the other features of uploading existing notes (i.e. curriculum standards) doesn't sound bad either.

So what do you say?  I'm game if you are.  

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