Jennifer Serravallo Shares Reading Strategies for Kindergarten

It’s Back-to-School time, which means new educator resources on the Lee & Low blog!

Lee & Low Books is extremely excited to announce our “Success Starts Early: Reading Conferences with Your Beginning Readers” Guide written by renowned literacy expert, Jennifer Serravallo! Jennifer Serravallo is a prominent leader in the field of education and literacy, and a national literacy consultant, speaker, and bestselling author. We are proud to feature these new Conferencing Documents as essential resources for teachers in the classroom working with beginning readers.

Our Conferencing Guide includes tips and techniques for conferring with readers at guided reading levels A, B, and C. The Guide also includes “Teaching Cheat Sheets” that feature how to examine a student’s reading behavior, and turn those observations into teaching moments so students can achieve the targeted reading skill.

Below, Jennifer Serravallo shares what conferencing entails in the classroom.

What is a one-on-one conference?

A conference is both a conversation between a teacher and a student and a valuable teaching opportunity. A one-on-one conference is a chance for a teacher to tailor literacy instruction to individual needs and to give children the personalized attention they require.

Do one-on-one conferences follow a predictable structure?

It is helpful to follow a predictable structure in conferences. The teaching resources in this kit assume the following structure for conferences:

  • Research: Observe, ask questions, and/or listen to the child read.
  • Compliment: Reinforce something the child has done well by explicitly naming the strategy or behavior he or she is using and offering praise or encouragement.
  • Teach: State the strategy you want the reader to work on. Coach the reader.
  • Link: Repeat the compliment and the strategy, and encourage the child to continue practicing the new skill or behavior when reading.

How is a group conference different from a one-on-one conference?

The biggest difference is that a teacher will have two, three, or four students to work with at once in a group conference instead of just one child. A group conference brings together several children who are in need of the same strategy. Students do not need to be reading the same book or even be at the same level. Not only is it beneficial for teachers, it also helps students. Being part of a group lets children know that there are others practicing the same strategy they are.

Learn more: Get our free resource, “Success Starts Early: Reading Conferences With Your Beginning Readers” by Jennifer Serravallo.


About the Author: Jennifer Serravallo is a national literacy consultant, speaker, and the author of over a dozen books and resources on the teaching of reading and writing including the NY Times bestselling The Reading Strategies Book and the two-time award-winning Independent Reading Assessment series. Her other books about differentiated instruction and formative assessments are: The Literacy Teacher’s Playbooks, Teaching Reading in Small Groups, The Writing Strategies Book, and Conferring with Readers. She was a Senior Staff Developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and taught in Title I schools in New York City.

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