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Collaborative Circle Blog

What a Gem! The Resource Sheet for IDR Conferences

Have you had the opportunity to find the content, assessment, and technology feature gems in the third edition of Making Meaning designed to support teaching and learning? One gem I found is the unit-specific “Resource Sheet for IDR Conferences” in the Making Meaning Assessment Resource Book.

The “Resource Sheet for IDR Conferences” was designed to guide our questioning during Individualized Daily Reading (IDR) Conferences. Beginning in Unit 2, the unit-specific “Resource Sheet for IDR Conferences” outlines a process to use when conferring with individual students about their independent reading. It includes questions we can ask to probe each student’s thinking about what he or she is reading and to assess the student’s comprehension of the text.

A Gem: Discuss-the-Text Questions

The third section of the resource sheet, “Discuss the Text,” provides specific questions related to the unit’s strategy and the genre or genres taught.

When I’m conferring with students during IDR Conferences, the unit-specific questions help me to be more precise as I confer. The well-constructed questions allow me to focus the conference on the learning goals of the unit. Selecting questions from this list-rather than generating my own questions-provides me the opportunity to listen more attentively and focus on the needs of the student.

During Making Meaning strategy lessons, I can use those same questions to help me probe students thinking as they engage in the learning. I have used the open-ended questions to scaffold students who might be stuck, to select strategic questions for partners to extend their conversations, and to coach students as they engage in writing about reading extensions. Using the questions across the days of instruction allows me to strategically deepen and extend learning.

A Gem: Suggestions for Supporting Readers

The “Suggestions for Supporting Readers” section provides specific recommendations for supporting students.

When planning, I refer to the suggestions for guidance with supporting students’ instructional needs. By focusing on the observed student’s reading behaviors, I am able to differentiate based on the characteristics of the reader. I found this valuable when considering where the students might struggle during strategy lessons, as I prepare for IDR, and as I consider what small-group instruction might benefit student growth.

The “Suggestions for Supporting Readers” section features references to two additional gems: IDR Mini-lessons and the “Stages of Reading Development” chart.

  • The IDR Mini-lessons are gems because they provide well-crafted lessons to supplement instruction provided during IDR. They focus on topics such as selecting appropriate texts, conferring, self-monitoring, using word-analysis strategies, and fluency. The IDR Mini-lessons are located in Appendix A of the Making Meaning Teacher’s Manual.
  • The “Stages of Reading Development” chart is a gem because it shows the stages through which students commonly progress as they develop as readers. It also lists behaviors students may display and provides suggestions for supporting students at each stage. The “Stages of Reading Development” chart is located in the Introduction of the Making Meaning Assessment Resource Book.

As you engage in teaching Making Meaning, what gems have you found to support both teaching and learning?

If you want to know more about the gems of the 3rd edition, check out the “New to Third Edition” section of the introduction of your Making Meaning Teacher’s Manual, page xvi, or see this PDF.