Search Mobile Navigation
A Teacher's Guide to Reading Conferences
Download a Sample
Watch Jen give an overview of the book.

A Teacher's Guide to Reading Conferences

The Classroom Essentials Series

"If you are a reading teacher, a curriculum coach, or a school leader, order a copy of A Teacher’s Guide to Reading Conferences right now. It is a must-have resource for anyone who wants to up their teaching and learning game during independent reading time. The entire book is dedicated to helping teachers have quality conferences with readers."

—Rita Platt
Read the entire review at Middleweb

Special Offer: Save 30% off our list price automatically when you buy 15 or more.


In Stock

List Price: $24.38

Web/School Price: $19.50

eBook + Print Bundle
The Classroom Essentials Series
Full Description

Why are reading conferences so important?

What do effective reading conferences look and sound like?

How do I fit reading conferences into my literacy block?

“Conferring,” writes Jennifer Serravallo, “is where the magic happens.” In this primer, she reveals that this seeming magic is actually purposeful, responsive instruction.

Jen presents conferences for six specific instructional situations: assessing, goal-setting, strategy lessons, and more. A rich design, replete with infographics and special features, guides you quickly from learning to teaching with:

  • Jen’s moves and language
  • 9 videos of her teaching in K–8 classrooms
  • 13 conference note-taking forms—one for each reading goal from the hierarchy in her Reading Strategies Book
  • Suggestions for connecting emergent bilingual learners’ language goals and reading goals.

With Jen’s support, you’ll discover the true magic of conferring—the joyous, aha moments you’ll see in growing readers.

Additional Resource Information

(click any section below to continue reading)



1. Getting Your Classroom Conferring-Ready
What Is Conferring? Why Confer?
But . . . What Is the Rest of the Class Doing?
Spotlight on Emergent Bilinguals: Tips for Book Selections
Preparing an Environment for Conferring
What Are the Types of Conferences I'll Read About in This Book?
Mentor Spotlight: Richard Allington

2. Understanding What Readers Know and Need
Aligning Goals, Skills, Assessments, and Questions
Spotlight on Emergent Bilinguals: Assessment
How Do I Confer with a Reader When I Don’t Know the Book?
Assessment Conferences: Structure and Timing
Watch and Read: An Assessment Conference Example
Finding a Goal
Take It to Your Classroom
Mentor Spotlight: Marie Clay

3. Setting Goals
Deciding on a Goal Together
Spotlight on Emergent Bilinguals: Goal Setting
Preparing for a Goal-Setting Conference
Goal-Setting Conferences: Structure and Timing
Watch and Read: A Goal-Setting Conference Example
Making Goals Visible
A Close-Up Look at Guided Inquiry
Take It to Your Classroom
Mentor Spotlight: John Hattie

4. Noticing and Naming Strengths
The Anatomy of an Effective Compliment
Spotlight on Emergent Bilinguals: Supporting Growing Language Skills
Compliment Conferences: Structure and Timing
Watch and Read: A Compliment Conference Example
Take It to Your Classroom
Mentor Spotlight: Peter Johnston

5. Teaching Strategies to Individuals and Groups
Building on Strengths
Spotlight on Emergent Bilinguals: Building on Strengths
Providing Feedback and Coaching Readers
Research-Compliment-Teach Conferences: Structure and Timing
Watch and Read: A Research-Compliment-Teach Conference Example
Coaching Conferences: Structure and Timing
Watch and Read: A Coaching Conference Example
Strategy Lessons: Structure and Timing
Watch and Read: Strategy Lesson Examples
Take It to Your Classroom
Mentor Spotlight: Lucy Calkins

6. Supporting Conversation and Collaboration
Partnerships and Clubs in the Classroom
Spotlight on Emergent Bilinguals: Leveraging Talk Time
Partnership Conferences with Young Readers: Structure and Timing
Watch and Read: A Partnership Conference Example
Teaching Talk (Speaking and Listening)
Partnerships and Book Club Conferences for Conversation: Structure and Timing
Watch and Read: A Book Club Conference Example
Take It to Your Classroom
Mentor Spotlight: Ellin Keene

7. Planning and Managing Conferring Time
Planning Your Conferring Time
Which Conference Type Do I Choose?
Balancing Individual Goals and Class Goals
Take It to Your Classroom

Online Resources: Videos
Grade 1: Ian (Assessment Conference)
Grade 5: Gavin (Goal-Setting Conference)
Grade 8: Justin (Compliment Conference)
Grade 2: Lucas (Research-Compliment-Teach Conference)
Grade K: Ana (Coaching Conference)
Grade K: Group of students (Strategy Lesson)
Grade 8: Group of students (Strategy Lesson)
Grade K: Gabbie and Ashley (Partnership/Book Club Conference)

In Depth

In this book, you'll read about the different types of student conferences. The book is organized in the order you’re most likely to use the conference types as you get started. Assessment conferences will help you get to know your readers, and then once you do, meeting with them in Goal-Setting Conferences helps you establish goals. As soon as everyone has goals, you can offer positive feedback (Compliment Conferences) and support those goals with strategies (Coaching and Research-Compliment- Teach Conferences). Once you start noticing patterns in what your students need, it makes sense to work efficiently and pull small-group Strategy Lessons (Teaching In a Group). Once that feels solid, you might shift your attention to conferring during the conversation and collaboration time (Partnership and Club Conferences). In the final chapter, Jen offers advice for how to use each type of conference with purpose and at a time that will be most helpful to you.



“I love that this book includes blank resources, like notetaking charts, that teachers can use. The combination of transcripts, charts, table tents, and annotated examples makes me feel like I have what I need to be successful in this work.”—Lori Yoshizaki, 4th Grade Teacher
“The videos are SO valuable.Not only the video examples of conferences but the talking points in the book to highlight Jen’s moves. It’s so helpful to have her notes from each conference as well.”—Jennifer Conley, Instructional Coach
“I believe that the reason why teachers don’t confer during reading workshop is because they don’t know how to manage all the pieces. Jen gives clear directions on how to set things up from start to finish, and information on how to manage everything.”—Lisa Aker, Assistant Professor in Literacy

Related PD Services

PD Resources From Jennifer Serravallo