Individual conferences are the most powerful teaching we do with young readers and writers. These 1:1 meetings with children are not just our best opportunity to target literacy instruction to individual strengths and needs, but also to teach student ownership of learning. By inquiring into their thinking and tailoring instruction to their unique interests, understandings, and experiences, we empower children to take the lead and become independent thinkers and problem solvers - not just in their reading and writing, but across subject areas. The teacher helps the student name, extend, and frame her thinking, taking it to the next level through a process of inquiry and exploration. Along the way we teach critical literacy skills and strategies, in response to the curiosity and interests of the individual learner. And when classrooms become places where each student’s ideas and identities are valued, reading and writing instruction can become a democracy of thought.

Few would argue that the most meaningful teaching is child-centered, or that reading and writing can be powerful tools for defining and exploring identity. What is less clear is how to sit side by side with individual students and teach literacy in such a way that they feel safe, engaged, and willing to take risks in pursuing their own ideas. This sort of pedagogy involves a special sort of listening, balancing content knowledge with diagnostic skill, and finding the unique spark in each young reader and writer.

In this two-day in person institute, Carl and Dan will offer a practical, step-by-step, student-centered approach to reading and writing conferences that teachers can bring to their classrooms tomorrow - and offer concrete tips on how to connect the two.

Participants will learn:
  • a practical, step-by-step approach to reading and writing conferences;
  • tips for questioning, assessing, and teaching students as we confer;
  • principles of diagnostic listening;
  • productive strategies for aligning individual, student-driven conference work with whole-class curriculum;
  • potential teaching points and go-to conference types;
  • manageable routines for record keeping and goal setting;
  • how to teach with mentor texts;
  • ideas for connecting reading and writing instruction through conferring.
Projected audience:
  • Classroom teachers, Grades K-8;
  • Heads of Curriculum/Directors of Teaching and Learning;
  • Literacy and/or Instructional Coaches;
  • EAL teachers;
  • Learning Support Staff;
  • Assistant teachers, Gr. K-8;
  • School Administrators.
Teachers will spend one full in-person day with Carl, learning the how-to of writing conferences, and another full in-person day with Dan exploring strategies for conferring in reading. Two months after the in-person institute, Dan and Carl will offer a follow-up webinar focused on connecting reading and writing conferences.
Dan Feigelson has worked extensively in New York City schools as a teacher, staff developer, curriculum writer, principal, and local superintendent. An early member of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, he leads institutes, workshops and lab-sites around the world on the teaching of reading and writing. A regular presenter at national and international conferences, Dan is the author of Radical Listening: Reading and Writing Conferences to Reach All Students (Scholastic 2022), Reading Projects Reimagined: Student-Driven Conferences to Deepen Critical Thinking (Heinemann 2015), and Practical Punctuation: Lessons in Rule Making and Rule Breaking in Elementary Writing (Heinemann 2009). He lives in Harlem and Columbia County, New York.
Carl Anderson is an internationally recognized expert in writing instruction for grades K-8. He works as a consultant in schools and districts around the world, and has been a longtime staff developer for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. Carl is the author of numerous books on teaching writing, including the new A Teacher's Guide to Writing Conferences, the best-selling How's It Going? A Practical Guide to Conferring with Student Writers, as well as Assessing Writers and the Strategic Writing Conferences series. Carl is known for his keynote addresses, PD workshops, school-based residencies, and webinars. Tweet him at @conferringcarl.
Tokyo International School

Address: 2 Chome-13-6 Minamiazabu, Minato City, Tokyo 106-0047, Japan

Phone: +81 3-5484-1160

8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Registration at 8:00 am
on the 1st of December 2023

Follow up online session to be announced.
USD 850 Closing Date 15th November 2023
USD 800 Early Bird Offer Till 1st September 2023
INCLUDES: Certificate of Participation for 18 Professional Development hours.
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