My text connections were working on overdrive as I read this chapter! I was a trained Reading Recovery teacher and taught Reading Recovery for three years a while back, and there were so many things that I could relate to as I read this chapter.
The structure of the math conference is similar to the one on one Reading Recovery lessons. You may have a goal for students or a specific teaching point in mind, but you're basically teaching on the fly. The conference follows this procedure:
- Research Student Understanding
- Decide What is Needed
- Teach to Student Needs
- Link to the Future
Some things that really stood out to me as I read:
- Twice in the chapter Sammons mentions that there is no one correct teaching point for any particular conference. I've seen this so many times in Reading Recovery, as well as reading and writing conferences. For me, this lessens the pressure of making sure I taught "the right thing." As long as I'm teaching to students' needs based on evidence I gather, its okay!Which brings me to my next point:
- Like Reading Recovery, in a math conference you are teaching to a specific child's needs. Start with what the child knows and build on that foundation.
- Start with an authentic praise about something the child is doing well. Sammons mentions that students may feel apprehensive when the teacher stops by for a conference. They may automatically wonder what it is they're doing wrong. Encouraging students by telling them what they're doing RIGHT will help ease their anxiety, build their confidence, and help solidify the knowledge they do have. Which brings me to my wish:
Does anyone out there have a list of stems to use during a math conference? I have one for reading broken down by skills from my Reading Recovery days, but it would really help my on the fly teaching if I had the same thing for math. My reading one is formatted like this:
Reading Conference Example Stems
Does anyone have something like this? If not maybe I can make one.
Thanks to all of our hosts so far:
Chapter 1: Primary Inspired
Chapter 2: Third Grade Gridiron
Chapter 3: Making It as a Middle School Teacher