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Assessment During Individualized Daily Reading (IDR): The Teach, Research, and Decide Conference

By Beth Newingham on May 23, 2013
  • Grades: 3–5

When I meet with students to discuss their reading, one of the approaches I take is the "Teach, Research, and Decide Conference." This type of conference is often the most difficult because I go into it with no specific teaching point in mind. Instead I am looking for something to teach the reader. It actually takes the form of a “mini” mini-lesson.

First I research the reader. I may look at Post-its, ask the reader to retell, listen to the reader read aloud, or ask an open ended question like “How’s it going?" Then I support the reader by explicitly naming what the child is already doing well and give a clear compliment.

Next comes the hard part. I must decide what to teach. I determine a teaching point and decide how I will teach it (demonstration, guided practice, explicitly telling him, inquiry). I try to connect the teaching point to what the child has been doing or refer to a strategy I have taught in a previous mini-lesson. After renaming the strategy I have taught, I encourage the student to try using it today and in the future.

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