Literacy 7-12

Systems Change
Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Reading Conferences

Reading Conferences


Teachers can provide individualized support through one-on-one conferences to assess reading comprehension, understanding of content, and spark further interest in reading. For adolescents, reading becomes essential to access content and individual conferences are an opportunity for students to demonstrate their reading processes, supporting Metacognition, and for teachers to conduct formative assessments.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this sixth grade teacher conducts one-on-one conferences while students read independently. Students record their notes on specific elements of their texts to discuss in their conference. While conferring, the teacher asks probing questions and provides feedback and guidance for deepening comprehension.

  • For middle and high school, teachers should concentrate on open, fluid dialogue with students to encourage student voice and participation. Having students set objectives or goals for the conference or providing prompts can foster ownership over their reading. Teachers can confer with their students during student activities, as part of reading workshops, or during independent reading time. The structure of conferencing can include read-alouds, oral reading reflections, book reports, support for individual student literacy needs, studying a mentor text, and formative assessments for Reading Fluency and other literacy skills.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Starting at 0:30, learn how products like Google Forms can be used to create sign-ups to schedule conferences. Although this video focuses on parent-teacher conferences, this same form can be used for conferring with students. When students are able to select a time for their conference, they can better plan how they want to use their time and what skills to focus on with their teacher.

  • Product developers can provide a platform for teachers to organize student data, including informal observations and formative assessment, and a space for sharing progress with students. Products that aid in building structured conference time with suggestions for different methods of reading conferencing offer a framework to maintain open communication between teachers and students. Additionally, products could include options for digital conferencing between teachers and students.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy