For the summer writing workshop I will attend, I need to identify some areas of inquiry. An on-going one for me is conferring with students during workshop. I typically feel pretty confident during writing workshop (although I still have a lot of room for growth), but during reading workshop, I feel like my conferences are failures.
During our most recent workshop, I've been trying to pinpoint reasons why they're not going well. I've noticed that the kids aren't all that willing to share with me and I blame myself. I feel like if I had been more consistent about conferring at the beginning of the school year, that by this time the conferences would be flowing more easily.
I've been thinking a lot today about perfecting my conference form where I record notes from each student's conference. Right now I use a blank page and post-it notes. It has it's ups and downs. The post-its allow me to be mobile, but I wish I had some kind of checklist to take with me.
I did have an aha moment when talking to Varun today. When I asked him how his Reading Log goals were going, he mentioned that he had exceeded his goal by a huge amount. I recommended that for the last six weeks he try a genre goal, which he quickly responded that he already had in the fall. Then I just felt really stupid, but it made me realize that I can't just go into the conferences without their record or goal sheet. It would be ideal if their goals and record sheet I use for conferences were combined into one form.