Conferring with Readers

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Who's ready for this month's professional read?  This year I made a New Year's resolution to read a professional book every month.  FYI-This is the first time I have actually kept a New Year's resolution for more than 5 minutes (probably because they are usually related to me eating less food that tastes really good.)

Conferring with Readers? Who's got time for that?  Well, hopefully you.  This is one of those books that will make you think deeply about what you're doing and how we teach our readers in a one size fits all manner.

Conferring with Readers is the best friend of The Reading Strategies Book.  TRSB is the what, but this book is the how.  A must have for any teacher wanting to teach students through choice and independence.

Why?

I love The Reading Strategies Book.  As I worked with kids on implementing strategies, though, I was left wanting more.  Was I doing this right? How could I better?  I felt like I was shooting in the dark and wanted to know more about differentiating reading instruction for students.

I have decided to refer to Conferring with Readers as the best friend of The Reading Strategies Book and want to dig deeper into conferring with students individually or in groups, this book needs to go on your must read list.

Aha Moment

There wasn't a singular moment in this book that set the lightbulb off.  And that was kind of the best thing about it.  Some books are heavy on ideas but light on implementation.  Too often you're left feeling strongly that the ideas are good but without any clue of how to make it happen in your own classroom.
This book is the HOW.  What it looks like, what it sounds like, why you plan a certain way, how to plan that way, how to manage the structure in the classroom, all the practical parts.
 

I Wish

I wish I had come across this book much sooner.  Sorry previous 3rd and 4th graders.  The third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers are reading this book at my school as part of book club.  I wish that making time and space for teachers to meet to discuss and grow in practice (vs data and standardized testing scores) was something that happened everywhere.  If you're looking for a book club selection to read with a group of teachers, this is an excellent text.  


Surprise

It's not as complicated as it sounds.  If you are already an advocate of the power of independent reading, this book provides a bridge for integrating independent reading with your reading instruction.  I'm not going to say it's easy, but this book shows you how it's possible.


Good For . . . .

Anyone who is in love with The Reading Strategies Book or teachers who want to move towards individualizing their reading instruction but aren't sure what that would look like or how to actually make it work.
I have always admired teachers who were able to run their classrooms this way.  I just couldn't wrap my head around what I would actually "do" with readers in a conference beyond "So, tell me about reading now . . . "  I was pretty confident that wouldn't be successful.  Turns out I was right.  There's more to it, and this book will show you the way.  Conferring with Readers is the How to The Reading Strategies Book's What.


Wise Words



I hope anyone who loves The Reading Strategies Book or wants to move beyond a one size fits all model of classroom instruction will add Conferring with Readers to the must be read list.  It's a practical guide to a typically pie in the sky concept of conferring with students.


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