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The Joy of Conferring: One-on-One with Young Readers

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Catalogue Number:  000125
Producer:  Stenhouse Publishers
Subject:  Professional Development
Language:  English
Grade Level:  Educators
Country Of Origin:  U.S.
Copyright Year:  2005
Running Time:  60

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While reading Debbie Miller's book, Reading with Meaning, or viewing her Happy Reading! video series, one wonders at Debbie's ability to orchestrate a buzzing classroom full of first-graders into a cooperative literacy community. The Joy of Conferring lets us focus in with Debbie and see what happens at the individual level as she conducts reading conferences with her students.

Program 1: Listen and Guide: The Dynamics of Conferring
Debbie engages in a series of six conferences with students who have a range of needs, from decoding and comprehension, to writing thoughtful responses to their reading. She maintains certain consistent practices across all of the conferences, such as referring back to her previous conferences with each student (either through notes or in oral exchanges), looking closely at the text to focus in on a word, concept or big idea, and listening to the child read and think aloud.

Program 2: Three Minutes or Less: Book Selection, Quick Conferences
Two of the biggest concerns teachers have about conferring with students are that there is never enough time, and it is difficult to get students to choose the right books for independent reading. How can a teacher provide individual attention to students during daily workshops, when she has twenty five or more children requiring attention? How can teachers help children learn how to select books that provide a balanced diet of genre, topic, and challenging text? "Three Minutes or Less" presents in almost real time the ways Debbie is able to check in with an entire class of students. Many of these conferences are less than a minute long, yet Debbie still manages to find time to instruct, listen carefully, and leave students with challenges.

About the Author

Debbie Miller taught and learned from children in The Denver Public Schools for thirty years. Debbie now presents workshops and works extensively with schools and districts.


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