I want to thank Cathy of Reflect and Refine, Jill of Primary Passion and Laura Komos of Our Our Camp Read A Lot for hosting #cyberPD. Connecting with all of you, hearing the thoughts of others and learning together is an amazing experience. I was not able post in the first part of this journey, but I have enjoyed reading all of your posts, comments and a few Tweets along the way!
I have been reading Patrick Allen's book, Conferring The Keystone of Reader's Workshop as part of #cyberPD. This post is in response to my reading of Part II of the book. If you would like to visit the blog posts of Part I of Conferring Keystone of Reader's Workshop visit the blog jog by @cathymere, It's a quick way to catch it all!
Conferring Versus Collecting
Reading Patrick's many tools and systems for collecting
The system is working well; I couldn't teach without it. But the contents of the notebook seem to be lacking something…
I have filled the pages with comments, observations, reading and writing behaviors and notes on independence and consistency. I find my notes very helpful in completing progress reports, conferring with parents, and recalling the events of a conference. They are easy to carry and have ample space for recording. But something is missing. I do not find the notes as helpful as I would like in building links between conferences and planning instruction. Am I collecting "stuff" or recording information that will help me plan and guide instruction?
As I read Patrick Allen's RIP model I saw what was missing in my notebook, the P: Plan, Progress, Purpose. My conferring notes are lacking the piece that will give the reader focus between conferences, the goal for further work. The RIP model made it evident that the tool for conferring isn't the important piece. The important piece is the stuff we put in the "chosen tool" the data we collect for planning and instruction.
We want the "stuff" to show where the child is, what strategies they're demonstrating, the language they're using and their thoughts on their work. We want the "stuff" to reflect not only the student's insights and application of skills, but we also want to include what we notice about how the student is applying strategies and new teaching, we want to help the child be cognizant of their processes and learning. Finally, and most importantly we want to note the plan, what the reader will work on between now and the next conference. This is the piece that is missing for me, this is the piece that will guide the reader and instruction. This is the piece that will change my "stuff" to conferring notes that support instruction.
So my goal between now and my next conference~
Add a section in my notebook to record the goal in a way that is easily seen when we next confer. I would also like the student to add the goal to their reader's notebook for reference and guidance in their reading.