Unit 1: Lesson 1: Why Confer?


  • Participants will analyze conferring videos to determine essential components of a reading conference.
  • Participants will explain different structures or purposes of reading conferences

Introduction to Lesson 1:Why Confer?

GONE ARE THE DAYS OF GUIDED READING GROUPS and ROUND ROBIN READING! Is this true? Not entirely, but more recently more and more school districts are adapting reading curriculum programs taught through a workshop model.

With a workshop model, students are introduced to a specific skill or teaching point which is first modeled by the teacher, then later practiced by the student. During independent practice time, it is the job of the teacher to check in with the students and assess how the student is using or misusing the teaching point or skill given for that lesson.

To do this, teachers use “independent conferring” where they meet with a student and record some data on the student’s progress in reading. In addition to determining how well students are using the given teaching point, teachers also get the chance to check in and measure overall reading progress and identify gaps or create future instructional teaching points.

In this lesson, you will first learn about the essential components in the conferring as well as learning about the benefits for using conferring daily in your classroom. Reading conferring data can be used for a variety of purposes! Continue in this lesson to understand those purposes as well as identify what conferring needs can meet for YOU in your classroom!

Ready, Set, Learn!

Click the link below to download and access a PowerPoint Presentation that strives to answer the question “WHY CONFERRING?” In this lesson, you’ll view videos and see graphics that will explain the essential components of a reading conference as well as help you identify a purpose for conferring.

File:Slattery-Reading Conferring for the K5 Classroom- Lesson 1.pptx


Click the link below to contribute to the Lesson 1 Discussion Forum. Please use resources listed in the PowerPoint Presentation as evidence to support your thinking.

Discussion Questions:

  • What are the essential components of a reading conference and why are they important?
  • How can conferring within your daily reading or literacy block help you? What kind of data collection are you looking for?
  • What type(s) of reading conferences do you plan to look into using in your classroom? Why?

Talk:Unit 1: Lesson 1: Why Confer?

Lesson 1 References


Serravallo, J. (2019). A teacher’s guide to reading conferences grades K-8. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann


Serravallo, J. [Jennifer Serravallo]. (2014, October 30). Coaching conferences [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6M4pR7iZdE&t=109s

Serravallo, J. [Jennifer Serravallo]. (2014, October 30). Compliment conferences [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GKTU2PsKEc

Serravallo, J. [Jennifer Serravallo]. (2014, October 30). Read-decide-teach conference [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g9vk07JkFs

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GO ON to Unit 1: Lesson 2: Time to Confer