Effective Literacy Teaching and Learning for all Students

Unit 16

Using a guide to improve specific questioning in reading conferences

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You may need to use explicit ‘reading language' to improve your reading conferences. Your students will begin to learn these explicit terms and to use them when discussing their reading.

In some of the film clips in this module you will notice the teacher saying something, and the student will answer using some of the ‘reading language' which the teacher has just used. For example the teacher might ask the student where they have been making connections between themselves and the text. In response the student is likely to say, ‘I have been making text to self connections in this part when…' The teacher has been modelling explicit language related to the reading process and to comprehension and the students are absorbing the language being used and understanding the concepts being taught. This is helping them to read independently for the rest of their lives as their metacognition of the reading process develops.

To further develop and broaden your 'reading language' use the following document as an aid when you are conducting a reading conference. It will enrich your teaching and extend your students' understanding of the reading conference.

Go to: Possible Prompts for a Reading Conference. This was originally written for a group of teachers who were trying to incorporate effective reading conferences into their classroom work but they were not sure about what to say during these conferences. The prompts provide a model of the types of language you can use in conferences.

As you continue to conduct reading conferences in your classroom try to incorporate the suggested prompts when appropriate. Most of the prompts require your students to be accountable for what they have been reading and what they have been working on for their goal. All students, regardless of their reading development, should know enough about reading conferences to be a partner with you as you conduct a reading conference.

As you have been learning more about comprehension and vocabulary your conferences will have naturally been enriched by the ways you talk about those aspects of your students' reading.

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Effective Literacy Teaching and Learning for all Students