“When will I ever use this in the real world?!?”
This is a question heard on repeat in the world of education, and I’m pretty sure every teacher has heard it at one point or another. There are times when it is hard to answer this question, but one time that the answer is ALWAYS a given is when it comes to literacy.
While students may not know the importance of literacy, we do as educators, and I think it is important that we teach students that their ability to read and write is vital for their futures. One way to help students become better readers and writers is to include them in their own literacy goals and growth. By letting students take ownership of their own reading with the use of reading conferences, you are empowering them to care about their own literacy.
A great way to do this is by having conferences with students on where they are in their reading, set goals for where they want to be, and come up with an action plan together for getting there. You can do this by using a Reading Level Tracker. By using a tracker, students can track their own growth and reflect on it as they go, then you can use this tracker and reflection as a tool for conferencing with the students individually.
When conferencing with students, it does not have to be anything intense or too time-consuming. It can be more of a check-in system for student accountability with their own goals.
When using trackers with my students, I like to have them where students can color in where they are because I like students to be able to visually see their growth pattern. This is helpful because they want to see that line or bar go above where their previous one is. I’ve even seen it where students are so eager to grow that they want to redo their universal screener. This probess takes the responsibility off the teacher by letting students take ownership with reading conferences. The teacher gets to be the facilitator while the student does the reflecting and goal setting.
In the past, we’ve used the HMH Reading Inventory to gain a Lexile score and that’s what students have tracked; however, all data points can be tracked no matter what universal screener or assessment data you decide to use.
When planning these reading conferences, remember to stay positive and act super excited about these with your students. They will see this and share your enthusiasm (even if they don’t admit it). Take advantage of these conferences as a time to grow together with the students and to connect with them.
As always, if you have questions or want more information about how I use trackers for conferencing with students, feel free to email me ([email protected]). I love being able to help!
PS – If you want to watch one of mine in action, click HERE!
PSS – If you are interested in my Reading Growth Charts, you can find them HERE.