Conferring Part III Reflection: It's time to start ploughing

Thanks again to Cathy Mere, Laura Komos, and Jill Fisch for hosting this wonderful book chat.  This is some of the best professional development I've participated in.  If you are interested in the entire conversation visit Cathy's Jog where she has brilliantly compiled all of the posts.

Part III of Patrick Allen's book Conferring: The Keystone of Reader's Workshop was a bittersweet ending for me.  I am so excited about everything that I have learned but also sad to see it end.  Patrick's writing made me feel like we were sitting together and he was slowly and methodically explaining me to why and how I could confer with my own students.  Like the conferences in his classroom he nudged me along, showing me real conferences, showing me his notes and then explaining how that would translate in my own room.  Unlike his classroom, he did all of the talking and I did a whole lot of listening.  He anticipated my questions and answered them promptly.  He addressed my concerns about fitting this into a mandated format of teaching and reminded me to keep mints always handy. 

I'm thankful to have learned and read this book with so many people who are more experienced and smarter than me.  I know that I can go to them if I start "drowning".  My PLN has expanded so much through this experience.  Thanks to all of you.

I've been thinking a lot about how I'm going to implement conferring into my class and how when asked, I will explain my reasoning.  I'm going to need to start slow and remember that this isn't a race.  Take it day by day and make sure that the time is never compromised.  This is going to be a challenge but as I've heard before "You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind." -Author Unknown.  It's time to get in there get started and see where this journey takes me and my readers.

Comments

  1. Nicole,
    I loved the way you noted what was like and unlike Patrick's classroom. Isn't it nice that we all feel like we know him so well after reading this? (He and I teach in the same district and have never met. I saw him speak in person but I feel like I know him after reading this book.)

    I agree that it is time to get started (though slowly) and see what happens. I have my first day with students two weeks from today. I am ready to hear what they have to say when I sit down to confer with them.

    Jill

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  2. Nicole,

    I was just in Upstate New York, a little farming small town and your quote here, "You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind." -Author Unknown. was a perfect reflection. thanks. You have the right attitude to jump in and we will continue to figure things out. Best Wishes.

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  3. Nicole,
    I'm so glad you joined the conversation. Your enthusiasm for all you are learning is evident in your posts. I have enjoyed thinking as I read your reflections and the way you plan to put this new learning into practice. As we get started with our new school years, it will be important to remember to take it slow. Careful steps in the beginning will pay off for us as the year moves along.

    Cathy

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  4. Nicole -

    "Take it day by day and make sure that the time is never compromised" are your words that really make me think. I'm a person who starts and doesn't finish, so I'm hopeful that Patrick's book will remind me to SLOW DOWN and really get to know my readers. I look forward to connecting with you and the PLN during the school year to make sure we're working toward our goals!
    Thanks for sharing your ideas!
    Chris

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  5. Nicole,

    I'm so glad you were part of this conversation. We learn so much from one another. I will also miss Patrick now that we're done with the book. However, I'm hoping that our group continues to "meet" on at least a monthly basis to discuss how things are going - make it a year long study together.

    Thanks for sharing your thinking to the conversation!

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  6. NIcole~
    You post is so gentle to read. I am often sad when I finish a novel, for days I wonder what the characters might be doing today. I know they are only in the book but they become my friends! Reading your post made me realize I felt this way about Patrick. I am sure I will feel this way EVEN more as I sit along side my readers. I will be thinking What Would Patrick Say (W.W.P.S.) Luckily, we will all still have each other through our cyberverse! Good Luck Nicole I am positive if you take it slow and reflect regularly you will have your conferences up and running smoothly!

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