I really want to make conferring a non-negotiable part of my classroom routine. I'm a resource teacher, so I see small groups throughout each day. My students come from a variety of classrooms with very different environments, but my students and I do build our own mini-community. Allen reminds us that we must begin each year by building a strong foundation and culture of thinking. This is the most important work of the year.
As I reflect on Allen's five ashlars, the third, "a clear and defined purpose and audience," becomes my area of focus. I always drive the students to work on specific reading skills and strategies, but I'm not usually clear about sharing the purpose for reading a specific text or the audience. I will be referring back to chapter 3 as I make plans for the fall.
Reading this book along with my Twitter PLN is motivating me to keep a notebook and really be more reflective as I read. (I'm usually a great skimmer!). I hope to encourage this practice with my teen children as well as my students. We don't always need to take careful notes each time we read something (purpose! audience!), but keeping track of your thoughts leads us to become mindful readers. I love Allen's thoughts on page 46:
Giving learners a chance to jot down their thoughts and sharing those ideas teaches children three things:
1. My thinking is important enough to write about.
2. My thinking can lead to rich conversation.
3. My thinking is valued.
I'm looking forward to all the other comments from my fellow #cyberpd learners!
Want to join in the Cyber PD? Check it out:
Part I: What Brings About a Good Conference, Anyway?
Hosted by Cathy Mere at Reflect and Refine
Part II: What Are the Essential Components of Conferring?
Hosted by Jill Fisch at Primary Passion
Part III. What Emerges from Our Reading Conferences?
Hosted by Laura Komos at Camp Read-A-Lot
Join us for the final conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #cyberPD.