The One-on-One Reading and Writing Conference: Working with Students on Complex Texts

The One-on-One Reading and Writing Conference: Working with Students on Complex Texts

by Jennifer Berne, Sophie C. Degener

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Overview

Personal interactions are the single most effective way for teachers to understand and evaluate their student as learners. Responding specifically to new Common Core State Standards in reading and writing, this book introduces pre- and inservice teachers to a method of one-on-one interaction the authors refer to as the “stretch conference.” This book provides detailed practical advice on the logistics of implementing these conferences during the busy school day, including tips on how and when to schedule conferences and how to successfully manage the classroom during conference time. The authors argue that, rather than using valuable conference time for word-level concerns and editing, teachers should focus on more ambitious goals that will deepen (or “stretch”) students’ skills in comprehension and writing. This resource suggests where conferences fit in with other important pieces of literacy instruction; introduces a variety of high-quality cues to use during conferences; and shows how conferences can function as formative assessment for reading and writing skills.

Book Features:

  • Written by two veteran teacher educators who conduct frequent workshops and professional development with teachers.
  • Helps teachers adjust their instruction for the demands of Common Core Standards, specifically Reading Anchor Standards 1 and 10, and Writing Standards 1–5 and 10.
  • Shows teachers how to schedule individual conferences within typical classroom time constraints.
  • Includes many detailed examples of effective conferences taken from real classrooms.

“A roadmap for engaging students in conversations that will change their understanding. Frankly, it’s an amazing resource and one that has changed my thinking about classroom instructional time.”
—From the Foreword by Douglas Fisher, San Diego State University

“A critical opportunity to reflect on our practice, examining whether the content of our conferences is aligned with the rigorous expectations of the Common Core.”
Sunday Cummins, literacy consultant and author

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807773543
Publisher: Teachers College Press
Publication date: 01/30/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 593 KB

About the Author

"Will transform teachers' conferencing, and more importantly, their students' writing and reading." -Laurie Elish-Piper, IRA Board of Directors, 2013-2016

"Reading this is a critical opportunity to reflect on our practice, examining whether the content of our conferences is aligned with the rigorous expectations of the Common Core." -Sunday Cummins, literacy consultant and author

"In this book, Jennifer Berne and Sophie Degener provide readers with a roadmap for engaging students in conversations that will change their understanding. They offer compelling case studies and a continuum that analyzes students' skills such that instruction can be appropriately aligned. Frankly, it's an amazing resource and one that has changed my thinking about classroom instructional time." -From the Foreword byDouglas Fisher, San Diego State University

"In this excellent resource on conferencing, Berne and Degener show through numerous classroom examples how to develop students' interactions, not only with the texts they are currently reading and writing, but with future texts. Their well-organized text is an outstanding guide on how to foster independent learners in literacy." -Peter Fisher, National Louis University

Jennifer Berneis associate professor and department chair of literacy and elementary education at Northern Illinois University.Sophie C. Degeneris associate professor of reading and language at National Louis University.

Table of Contents

Foreword Douglas Fisher ix

Acknowledgments xiii

1 Introduction 1

Shifting Our Thinking About Literacy Instruction 3

Theoretical Underpinnings 4

Defining Reading and Writing Conferences 5

The Need for Stretch Conferences 6

Reconsidering the Writing Conference 7

Reconsidering the Reading Conference 10

Continuum of Task Complexity for Guided Reading and Writing Conferences 13

Part I Understanding Task Complexity 15

2 Stretch Conferences and the Continuum of Task Complexity in Writing 17

Level 1 Mechanics 20

Level 2 Changing a Word or Phrase 22

Level 3 Adding or Taking Away Details 23

Level 4a Unique Qualities 25

Level 4b Organizing to Support a Genre 26

Level 5 Why Does This Matter? 28

To Summarize 29

3 Stretch Conferences and the Continuum of Task Complexity in Guided Reading 30

The Continuum of Task Complexity During Guided Reading 31

Level 1 Word-Level Decoding 32

Level 2 Word-Level Vocabulary 34

Level 3 Sentence-Level Comprehension 35

Level 4 Cumulative Comprehension 37

Level 5 Critical Consideration 40

Level 6 Discerning Greater Meaning 41

To Summarize 42

Part II Writing Workshop Defined 45

4 Making a Space for Conferences in a Writing-Rich Classroom 47

Writing Minilessons 48

Independent (Journal) Writing 50

Peer Feedback 52

Instruction in Grammar and Mechanics 53

A Word About Management 54

5 Structuring Writing Conferences 56

Effective Conferences 57

Unpacking the Conference 59

A Sample Conference 65

Formative Assessment 65

During Writing Conferences 68

6 Students and Teachers Conference About Writing 69

5th-Grade Writer 70

7th-Grade Writer 72

4th-Grade Writer 74

8th-Grade Writer 75

6th-Grade Writer 77

7th-Grade Writer 80

Conclusion 81

Part III In Support Of Guided Reading In Grades 3-8 83

7 Making a Space for Guided Reading in the Literacy Block 85

Balanced Literacy Instruction 85

Shared Reading 86

Guided Reading 90

Independent Reading 92

Independent Literacy Activities 93

Other Important Aspects of the Literacy Block 94

8 Structuring Reading Conferences During Guided Reading 96

Guided Reading: Essential but Brief 96

What Takes Place During Guided Reading? 100

Formative Assessment During Guided Reading 108

One-on-One Conferences in Lieu of Guided Reading 109

9 Students and Teachers Conference about Reading 110

Stretch Conferences During Guided Reading 112

5th-Grade Guided Reading Group 116

7th-Grade Guided Reading Group 118

8th-Grade Guided Reading Group 121

10 Epilogue: On Shifts and Teacher Learning 125

References 131

Index 137

About the Authors 145

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