Monday, September 29, 2008

Why We Confer

Today, after much deliberating I posed my problem to my students during my mini lesson:
"Boys and Girls, last week I really struggled to get you to confer with me during Independent Reading time. I would pull up next to you and try to pry you from your reading!"

"Well, Mrs. Amick, we just love our books, and we don't want to come above water." commented one of the boys. The rest of the class nodded their heads in agreement.

"Well, I think we need to confer, what will I do during that time if I can't discuss your books with you?" I asked.

Together, we discussed the importance of conferring, and why I needed to do this simple task with them. Together, we came up with a list of questions, things that I would be asking them when I pulled up next to them. Here, is my student generated list of things that I am going to be asking them:
-What is your book about?
-Do you like the book?
-What level is this book for you? Is it easy, medium, or hard? (1, 2, or 3)
-Can you read some of it to me?
-What strategy are you using with this book? (we made a list of comprehension or monitoring strategies)

We talked about how important it would be for them to be thinking about their reading and what I may be asking of them. However, if they really wanted to share something specific with me during that time then they could go ahead and do that instead.
Overall, I was impressed, it was a very student led conversation. I just simply wrote their suggestions down while they discussed. I also discovered that they know exactly what I am asking of them. They get it!

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