How to have a great reading conference in grade 4


Start with a strength: Begin the conference by allowing the student to read for a couple minutes and then compliment them on one strength you notice, Minkel says: “Be specific. Point out the way the reader made an insightful connection, reread a part that confused her, or changed her voice when the grumpy duck was talking.”


How often should a student have a reading conference?

There is no set time between reading conferences, but the student does need to have had time to complete some reading. Realistically, teachers conference most students once a month, meeting more regularly with students who have specific reading needs.

How long do guided reading groups and conferences take?

In the beginning, your conferences will take a little longer than usual, but once you and your students get used to them, you will have them fine tuned to less than 5 minutes. Once guided reading groups start, I have my students bring their independent reading books to the guided reading table.

What is the purpose of an eReading Conference?

Reading conferences allow the teacher to monitor students’ reading, and provides formative data about the students’ progress and their meaning making; including their level of reflection and engagement.

How do you keep track of conferences in the classroom?

To keep track of conferences, I keep a binder with dividers for each class and a note sheet for each student where I record the details of our conversations for future reference. I always start out by asking each student to remind me what they’re currently reading and what page they’re on, and I ask what rating they would give their book and why.


How can you improve reading conferences in the classroom?

Be Positive. Always, always, start your reading conferences off with a positive vibe, to ensure that the students are excited to see you approach them for a reading conference. When you first get next to your student for a conference be sure to give them a compliment about what they are doing.

What does a reading conference look like?

A reading conference is a one-on-one conference with a single student. As the teacher, you will come alongside a student as they are reading a book of their choice. During the conference, you simply have a conversation about the book your student is reading.

How do you run a successful guided reading group?

Steps in the guided reading process:Gather information about the readers to identify emphases.Select and analyze texts to use.Introduce the text.Observe children as they read the text individually (support if needed).Invite children to discuss the meaning of the text.Make one or two teaching points.More items…•

What are the 4 strategies of reading?

​General Strategies for Reading ComprehensionUsing Prior Knowledge/Previewing. … Predicting. … Identifying the Main Idea and Summarization. … Questioning. … Making Inferences. … Visualizing. … Story Maps. … Retelling.More items…

How do you do a reading conference?

A reading conference sequence The teacher and student meet. The student shares the goal and their learning related to the text, through a dialogic interaction. The teacher may use prompts to focus the discussion. The student usually reads a section of the text aloud.

What are the reading strategies?

To improve students’ reading comprehension, teachers should introduce the seven cognitive strategies of effective readers: activating, inferring, monitoring-clarifying, questioning, searching-selecting, summarizing, and visualizing-organizing.

What does a good guided reading lesson look like?

A level A guided reading lesson will include activities to build independent readers. You will teach your students reading strategies, decoding strategies, comprehension skills, word work skills, and emergent writing. I know; it sounds like a lot! It doesn’t have to be complicated, though.

What makes a good guided reading lesson?

Really effective guided reading sessions have a sharp focus and stick to it. Try keeping to just one or two aspects of the Content Domain. Ask questions focussed on these aspects and try to limit your assessment notes to these aspects too (see our guided reading prompts at the bottom of this page).

What does a good reading lesson look like?

1) Short direct instruction on something good readers do, usually a cognitive skill (5-10 minutes), 2) a long reading time (30 – 60 minutes) in which children read and apply the lesson to their own, self-selected books as well as a time for the teacher to confer with individual students, 3) ends with reading journal …

What are the 3 effective reading strategies?

Three Quintessential Reading StrategiesScanning. Scanning is used when looking for a specific piece of information in a given text. … Skimming. Skimming, like scanning, is a quick type of reading. … Reading for Detail. Careful reading or reading for detail is probably the most commonly used reading strategy.

What are the 5 reading techniques?

The best reading techniques are the SQ3R technique, skimming, scanning, active reading, detailed reading, and structure-proposition-evaluation.

How do you engage students in reading?

9 reading strategies for studentsLet the students choose. Allowing your class to choose the content that you read in class can improve engagement. … Try popcorn reading. … Read aloud to the class.Implement the 3-2-1 strategy. … Summarize the story. … Use graphic organizers. … Try choral reading. … Identify predictions.More items…•

What are reading seminars?

Reading Workshop is a model of instruction that focuses on the work of the reader. Teachers model and directly teach the skills and strategies that proficient readers use.

What is a reading interview?

A reading interview, typically at the beginning of the year, is helpful in getting to know your. student’s strengths, needs, interests, and weaknesses. They in turn get to know your style and. structure, and rituals and routines of a conference.

How do you conduct independent reading?

Opportunities for independent reading in the classroom:Self-select books to read from the classroom library.Revisit books read during Interactive Read-Aloud.Revisit books read during Shared Reading.Reread books read during Guided Reading.Read interactive writing, shared writing, and poems displayed in the room.

What is a running record reading assessment?

A running record is a way to assess a student’s reading progress by systematically evaluating a student’s oral reading and identifying error patterns. These on-going assessments will help you judge your students’ strengths and weaknesses so you can plan lessons specifically for them.

What is a Reading Conference?

Reading conferences are a time for you, the teacher, and a student to sit together and have a real conversation about what they are reading. A one-on-one conversation with a student! When is the last time you were able to do that during class?

How do I know what questions to ask my students?

A reading conference has to feel natural otherwise it becomes a chore, a task to check off. When I first began conferring with students, I asked every student the same set of questions. I thought it would be easier to manage if everyone had the same conference.

Do I need to keep track of everything?

The simple answer is no, you don’t need to keep track of everything that is said during a reading conference. While formalized, structured conferences are not my conference style, keeping records of student progress is. The notes I take during conferences help me in many areas of teaching.

Why are reading conferences so important?

Reading conferences are where you really get to know your students as readers. You learn their reading behaviors, develop a relationship with them as a reader and you learn how to tailor your instruction to what they need. Our reading instruction teaches students to work things out in their head, becoming active readers as they dive into a text.

What is a reading conference?

A reading conference is a conversation between the teacher and student. It allows students to share their thoughts about their reading and set goals for future reading. It is a time for students to reflect on their reading and for the teacher to provide guidance.

What is your job?

Be prepared! Look back at your notes from your last conference with a students before you meet with them again. Begin by making a connection to your last conference. This let’s them know that your time together MATTERS!!! You remember what you last discussed and you’re invested in checking in on them again.

How can you keep track for all of your students?

Keep a separate conference binder. You can keep each student’s conferencing notes and all of their conferencing materials in a plastic sheet protector in the binder so it is easy to access each student and it saves time. You can also use dividers for each student’s conferencing materials.

Step One: Name

I began by changing the way I enter conferences. Now before pulling up a chair alongside a reader, I take time to review a recent response to text from that reader. That way, before I even sit down, I have in mind a strategy the reader is already demonstrating.

Step Two: Listen

Although I enter a conference with a specific skill or strategy in mind, I follow up the naming of the work a reader is doing with a question to get the reader talking.

Step Three: Suggest

Once I have worked with a reader to name a strategy or skill and identify whether it is continuing to be applied to the current text, I suggest the reader work intentionally to capture this thinking. We focus on a short section of text, so as not to allow the reader’s response to become the driving purpose for reading.

Step Four: Remind

Although the final step requires reminding the reader of the logistics of the work, that is not the most important reminder. I start by jotting our agreement on a sticky note that can be tucked inside the book.

Between Conferences

After going through a round of conferences, I start the process over. After the first conference with a reader, I want to take into account a current response to reading as well as the work that resulted from the previous reading conference.

This is another free resource for teachers from The Curriculum Corner

Use this reading conference guide as you are building your confidence during conferencing.

How Will This Reading Conference Guide Help?

As a new teacher or a teacher first diving into a workshop approach, conducting meaningful reading conferences can take practice.

What Should Your Conferences Look Like?

Conferencing with students is a key part of reading workshop. This is the time for you to see how each student is growing and where they need support.

Creating Your Conference Guide

This reading conference guide is designed to be made into an easy to carry flip chart.

Preparing Your Reading Workshop

You will find planning materials, units of study, graphic organizers & more!

What is a reading conference?

Reading conferences. A reading conference is a scheduled discussion between a teacher and a student, which draws upon the principles of dialogic teaching. The focus of the discussion is based around a text independently selected by the student. Texts are sourced from a range of ‘just right’ books which have been tailored to …

Why is a reading conference important?

The reading conference provides the teacher the opportunity to model the language of goal setting, and through careful questioning to illuminate the aspects of reading a student has accomplished and is yet to accomplish. It is important that students leave the reading conference knowing:

What is a teacher meeting?

The teacher and student meet. The student shares the goal and their learning related to the text, through a dialogic interaction. The teacher may use prompts to focus the discussion. The student usually reads a section of the text aloud.

How often do teachers meet for reading conferences?

Realistically, teachers conference most students once a month, meeting more regularly with students who have specific reading needs.

What is the role of the reader in the process of reading?

The role of the reader in the process of reading is acknowledged in the vast academic literature about reading. The meaning making that occurs depends upon the purpose for reading the text. Through reading conferences, teachers can help students articulate the purpose of their reading and guide them in constructing their own meanings.#N#​#N#The reader brings past experiences, linguistic knowledge, memories and values to the text, which help connect the reader to the text. It is then the role of the teacher to help students realise these connections and explore them to deepen their understanding of their reading. Rosenblatt (1982) states that “after the reading our initial function is to deepen the understanding…we should help the young reader return to, relive, and savour the experience” (p. 275). The reading conference provides the scope and means for a teacher to help students connect to their reading.

What is a reader response book?

The reader’s response book/notebook acts as a collection of thoughts, responses, ideas and connections that a student has had whilst reading.

Is teacher questioning part of reading conference?

Teacher questioning is an integral part of the reading conference. However, it should not dominate it. The teacher needs to make conversation moves to guide the student to articulating the meaning they have made about the text, and discuss the goal they have set.

Why one-on-one reading conferences?

When I first began teaching, I didn’t make time for one-on-one reading conferences.

Standard Conferences

In a “standard” conference, I follow the observe-compliment-teach routine. This is not something I made up; many teachers use this method, and I believe I first learned about it in Jennifer Serravallo and Gravity Goldberg’s 2007 book Conferring with Readers.

Check-Back Conferences

A check-back conference is slightly different and does not follow this observe-compliment-teach routine. In a check-back conference, I’m touching base with a student to see if she has been using a strategy I taught previously.

Extended Conferences

An extended conference is….just what it sounds like. 🙂 A longer conference!

More Help with Reading Workshop

For more help with reading workshop, take a peek at my new shared reading units for Kinder, 1st, or 2nd grade. You can learn about them HERE!


I’m Alison, a literacy specialist. I love getting kids excited about reading and writing – and sharing teaching ideas with other teachers!

The Logistics of Conferencing

Although the idea of talking about books with students is appealing—honestly, it’s one of the main reasons I became an English teacher—the first thing I had to tackle were the logistics of the conferences.

Keeping Track of Conversations

To keep track of conferences, I keep a binder with dividers for each class and a note sheet for each student where I record the details of our conversations for future reference.

Assessing Choice Reading

Real-life readers don’t get scored for reading for pleasure, but I do want to encourage students to find books they enjoy and to give them a way to keep track of their own reading progress, so I created a simple sheet for them to record the books they finish, along with their thoughts about what they read.

The Results of My Choice Reading Experiment

When I began this experiment, I was concerned that, without the accountability of points entered in the grade book, my students would not be motivated to read. My fear, however, was proven beautifully unfounded.


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