I created a little form to use to keep up with all these conferences. I like it because all the conferences are in one spot. It shows their reading progress (or lack thereof) and it's great for parent conferences or referrals. Plus, I can quickly scan my notes from the previous week to remember what was discussed last week. I like to use a different color pen each week, so I can quickly see which students I have read with for the given week. I know when each child has notes written in "orange" that I've covered everyone.
There's no way to record every aspect of a child's reading in just a few minutes. I will just pick a few areas that stand-out to me while they read. Here are some of the things I'm listening for:
- sight words (can the child read most sight words. I'll make notes of ones they need to learn)
- decoding words (blending CVC words, using picture clues, using beginning sound, using rhyming words, does child make substitutions or guess at words)
- fluency (reading with expression, correct speed, not choppy, phrasing)
- bad habits (pronouncing "the" and "a" incorrectly)
- motivation to read, interest in book, self-confidence
Below is an example of my reading conferences with a child in my class last year. This little boy came to first grade a little behind and unmotivated to read. He had very little confidence and cried every time he missed a word. My main goal at the beginning of the year was to build confidence and promote an interest in reading. By the end of the year he was a good little reader and ready for second grade. If you look carefully at the dates I recorded his conferences, you'll see that some weeks were missed. Those mainly fell around end-of-quarter grading periods or short weeks in school. Hey, I'm a REAL teacher and as much as I try to read with each sweet pea every week, sometimes it just doesn't happen.
Click here to get your own copy of the Reading Conference form