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Reading Conferences: Assessment for Teaching and Learning


Standard Resource

Years: K-2, 3-4, 5-6

8 Pages

Product Code: TEAC1730

Resource Type: Professional Readings

About this teaching resource

Have you started conferring with your readers? It’s easy to get started with this article by Diane Snowball: Reading Conferences: Assessment for Teaching and Learning.

Reading Conferences: Assessment for Teaching and Learning will help you build a deep knowledge of the purpose, the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of learning about your students’ reading, including the student’s: 

  • Reading interests (topics, genres, authors, forms – books, magazines, newspapers, digital, etc)
  • Reading process and monitoring strategies
  • Comprehension
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Decoding knowledge.

Reading Conferences: Assessment for Teaching and Learning covers:

  • What is a reading conference?
  • Why confer with students about their reading?
  • When do the conferences take place?
  • Brief conferences
  • In-depth conferences
  • What is being assessed?
  • Components of the reading conference
  • Hearing the student read
  • Clarifying the processes, comprehension strategies or other aspects of reading
  • Providing personalised, specific feedback
  • On-the-spot teaching
  • Agreeing on goals for further learning
  • Recording observations and comments
  • Finish positively
  • How often should conferences occur with each student?

Also see: Reading Conference Toolkits


Want to count your professional reading towards professional learning hours? We know Di’s professional readings are actionable, so we’ve included a Reflections and Actions prompt sheet.

  • Diane Snowball is a Victorian educator with teaching experience that has ranged from prep through university levels over the past 50 years. Her experience includes both teaching and administrative roles in secondary and primary schools, but the majority of her time has been devoted to the provision of professional learning for teachers and those involved in all levels of school leadership, with a focus on improving students’ literacy.

Diane is a past president of the Australian Literacy Educators Association and has presented at many conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Asia and the USA. She has written several books and articles about literacy teaching and has produced many videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs demonstrating the most effective teaching practices. In 1992 Diane was invited to provide professional learning for teachers and administrators at schools across New York City and in several other parts of the US, which she did for 16 years.
Diane’s main focus these days is on ways to provide the most effective professional development for Victorian educators so that all students have the best opportunities for achieving their potential and has been assisting the Western Metropolitan Region schools to meet this goal.
Diane was a presenter on ABC TV's 'Revolution School' in 2016, and she is a key advisor to schools/governments in literacy education. See her extensive range of literacy education information on the Victorian Department for Education and Training's website at:


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