Hello...it's me again! Sara....the data freak! By now you must have data coming out of your ears! I know most of you have been using your data and working in small groups. Maybe you've even been dabbling a bit in conferencing. I want to give you a few tips on conferencing to make your life as easy as possible.
1: Go to your student in whatever Zone they are working in. Before we started Zones Math we often practiced "conferencing" in subjects such as writing and reading. During those conferences we called students up to our desk or the table WE were working at. For Zones Math we decided to change that. We go to the student...where He/She is working. In THEIR environment. It's quicker, less distracting, and often more telling. Take your clip board and your conferencing notes and get started!
2: Ask the student a few key questions and observe their work. What Zone are you working in? What are you doing right now? Can you tell me how you got to this answer? What part is giving you trouble? You do not need to ask all of these questions, but this gives you a general idea of some to start with.
3: Quickly assess their understanding. Decide what level of understanding the student seems to be at (strong, growing, or weak).
4: Teach! Based on your quick assessment of the student's understanding, decide what needs to be taught. Do they need a quick review of the content? Do they need to be challenged? Do you need to remediate?
5: Goals! Give your student a goal to work on. For example, it could be to use a Resource Journal tool or to double check their work. Whatever you choose to focus on, make sure it aligns with the needs of the student. Let the student know that you expect them to practice this and you will be looking for it the next time you conference with them.
6: Take Notes! Remember to take notes on your conference. It will help you with future conferences. Here is our fabulous Conferencing Form. Using these will make your life even easier because everything above is right on this neat little form!
As a final reminder....keep it simple and quick! 5 minutes tops! You want to touch base, teach where necessary and move on to the next student.
Check out our conferencing video below. I think you'll find it helpful! While you're at it check out our Conferencing Board on Pinterest.
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