Individual Reading Conference

Feb 7, 2009 by

The reading conference is…

  • a powerful teaching tool.
  • a way to move readers toward independence.
  • a time to provide specific feedback.
  • a method for providing individualized, developmentally appropriate instruction. 

Individual Reading Conference

Initial Questions – choose a few of the following:

  • How’s it going?
  • Why did you choose this book?
  • Have you read any other books by this author?
  • Why do you like or dislike this book so far?
  • Who are the main characters?  Tell me about them.  How did you feel about one of them?  Which characters were the most well-developed?
  • Was there a problem in the story?  Tell me about it.
  • Did you solve the problem before you read about it?  How?
  • Did you come up with a different solution than the author?  What was it?
  • How did the story end?
  • Did the ending surprise you?  How?
  • What was your favorite part?  Tell me about it.
  • Was there anything confusing about the author’s style?
  • What did you admire about the author’s style that you might use in your own writing?
  • What techniques did the author use to grab your attention?
    What were some interesting vocabulary words you found in this book?  Can you define them?

Research – assess skills and strategies:

Ask the child to read orally a page from a chapter book or several pages from a picture book.  As the child reads, observe and take note of the following strategies:

  • Does the child self-correct?
  • Does the child use picture clues to help when stuck?
  • Does the child skip the word and read on, coming back to figure it out?  (Context clues)
  • Does the child substitute a word that doesn’t begin with the same sound but makes sense in the sentence? (Good strategy if not done too often).           
  • Does the child repeat part of a sentence when stuck on a word?
  • Does the child say a word that begins with the same sound? (Even if it is not the correct word).
  • Does the child reverse letters?  (eg: “was” for “saw”)
  • Does the child wait or look at you for help often?
  • Does the child miss so many words that it may hurt comprehension?


  • Choose 1 or 2 “teaching points” based on your observations and discuss them during the conference.
  • Record the date and important observations on the anecdotal notes section of the Reading Evaluation form.

Professional Resources That Teach How to Conduct a Reading Conference:

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