Micro-Conferencing Tool Guide for Teachers Module 1 Preparing A Conferencing Environment
Author: Jennifer Seravallo
Book Creator: Valerie Hernandez
Chapter 1: Getting Your Classroom Ready
What Is Conferring? Why Confer? When you confer, you tailor your instruction to each student's strengths and needs. But you do so much more than that. Conferring is where the magic happens. It's the heartbeat of the literacy block. Conferring helps teachers do the important work of seeing the rich and beautiful variety of individual students in the classroom, and to honor and cherish where each student is with their learning (Paley 2000). When you work one-on-one or in small groups with students, it allows you to value each child's language and literacy practices, and their own literacy development, and to treat each child as a competent learner (Ladson-Billings 2009; Souto-Manning and Martell 2016). Conferring blurs the lines between teacher and student; you become a researcher as you learn about your students, and they learn from you (Morrell 2012; Freire 1998).
Routman (2003) has written that one of the strongest predictors of reading achievement is the quality of the teacher-student relationship. In reading conferences, you give a student or group of students your undivided attention, and develop strong relationships with them. There are a variety of types of individual and small-group conferences, each with a unique structure and purpose and consistent student and teacher roles.
Teachers offer new
strategies or support for
ones still being practiced,
give feedback, and
Students are expected to
self-reflect, show what
they've learned, ask for
support, and practice