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Links are SO short and simple, but don't overlook their potential power. In short, your link is meant to link the information from your mini-lesson, conference, or strategy group into the students' independent reading or writing. You might be directing them to doing that work that day, and you might not. There are lots of ways to do this.

You might restate the teaching point and debrief. It might sound like:

  • "Remember, today and every day when you read/write, you can.... (restate teaching point)."
  • "So we (insert strategy taught here)-ed by (list steps of the process again)."
Keep your language consistent all throughout your conference is really important here.


After you restate the teaching point, you might also ask students to commit to a strategy they will work on. It may sound like:
  • "Put your hands on your head if you are going to try this for the rest of the day. Put your hands on your heart if you have a different plan for your reading/writing."
  • "Close your eyes and imagine yourself (insert steps of strategy here). Now go do it!"
It's OK if kids don't always choose to work on the particular strategy you just taught them. If you're conferring about reading or writing stamina, however, I won't be telling them they have a choice about doing their work though!



After a conference or strategy group, I always ask my students to tell me either: 1-what they will be working on when they go off to work independently or 2-what we just learned. It's a great way to not only hold them accountable for doing the work, but it also gives me one more quick piece of information about how important that strategy seemed to that student. And finally...


DON'T LOSE THE OPPORTUNITY TO USE THIS SECRET WEAPON!

Yes, a post-it note is my secret weapon. Here's why I always use them at the end of my strategy groups: I LEAVE MY STUDENTS WITH A TANGIBLE REMINDER OF WHAT WE JUST LEARNED.

I write the strategy we worked on and quickly sketch some kind of visual cue on the post-it. The post-it then acts as a mini-anchor chart for students to use independently in the following days and weeks. That's why I include them in my conferring toolkit for launching reader's workshop

It takes some time to draw and write the post-its; I'm not going to lie. But man does it make my teacher heart feel good when I see students whip them out. If all you can do is scribble the teaching point sloppily on the post-it, that's WAY better than nothing. If I could encourage you to do one thing from this post, it's the post-it trick. You'll see your students taking them out.

(Teacher tip: since post-its lose their stick, buy a repositionable glue stick to add stick to notes that need it, and always write names on the post-its you give out).


When is your Back To School or Meet The Teacher Night? Mine isn't until the end of September, but I'm going to be using this Editable Back To School Night Presentation. Click here or on the picture below to snag it if you don't want to go through the hassle of making a presentation. I am using the watercolor succulent option, but when you download this, you can choose from that option or the pumpkin chalkboard design! Both are included. 




Also, make sure to follow me on Instagram for more classroom inspiration if you're not already.

So tell me, what's your go-to link during a conference or strategy group?
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