Our last posting for Conferring, The Keystone of Reader's Workshop #cyberpd is today, welcome. I have really enjoyed reading the same book with other people from a variety of places. I have really enjoyed the conversation and comments to help me think further and they also confirmed my thinking. I feel like I've gotten to know people better and made new friends. Thank you Blog Book Chatters for joining me on the journey. Also, thank you to Laura K for hosting this weeks sharing.
"We should observe children tinkering with words, sentences, and whole text. We should listen to children think while they explore as readers (each of us with a notebook and pencil nearby) and ask them to explain their thinking and reasoning to us."
I read this phrase early on in our reading for this session and loved it. I thought there are words here that included kindergarten/emergent readers. I loved the word tinkering. When I looked tinkering up at dictionary.com I found these two definitions applicable.
-to busy oneself with a thing without useful results:
-to work unskillfully or clumsily at anything.
I think tinkering implies my students should be messing about, exploring, and trying to work with words, sentences and a whole text. The definition guides my thinking further to understand the useful results from tinkering might not happen immediately which supports Patrick's slow down message. My conferring sessions may appear clumsily and unskillful but with time and experience I believe kindergarten students can and will show skill, strength, and understanding. If you've ever spent time with a kindergarten child then you will completely agree they can explain their thinking and reasoning. Oral language for most is their first strength.
I found the notion of walk-aways ("a tool or strategy used or discovered as students negotiate text and develop the capacity for independence, so that next time we meet and I ask, "How's iyour reading going?" they can tell me.") and the example chart a wonderful resource I think I will refer to during the year. I am wondering if my students will be able to hold on to their walk-away idea for two nights or more until they return. I wonder/imagine I will have to think aloud walk aways and with time I know they can pick up on it.
I'm going to continue pondering Patrick's list of Conferring Premises. I loved many of the ideas and wonder what I would change to make it my own as I think about K conferences. I think I will have get in school with students and do many conferring sessions before I tweak the original list to fit my room. Also, Patrick thanks for the laugh as I read a few of yours. I agree it's important to laugh while we work and find the humor in our daily lives.
My thinking is not ending but to close my posting I leave you with this from the text. "We need to slow down and get back to the business of knowing children, of knowing readers." I'm ready for this task now and can visualize it with better clarity in my kindergarten room.