The Teacher's Tool Kit For Literacy

Transformative Tracking: The Reading Conference

Episode Summary

Literacy expert Sharon Callen talks about how teachers can assess literacy development through conferring with their students.

Episode Notes

How can teachers effectively understand where students are at in their literacy development?

There's testing and running records, which have benefits and limitations, and the Reading Conference, which is a powerful process when done the right way.

This is the art of conferring with kids, which is easier said than done. So how do we plan for a highly effective Reading Conference and what tools do we need?

Start by asking: What is conferring?

The Reading Conference is an assessment for teaching and learning. It’s for turning learning into actions for students (Transformative Tracking). The teacher tries to learn as much as they can about the students, including:

The teacher:

What actions are we looking for?

There are five really good questions to ask (not all at once, but when appropriate): Use the Conferring With Reader Prompts sheet, which can be glued into their Reader's Notebook (aka Reading Journal).

What are the highly effective elements of a Reading Conference?

Tools to have on hand, or actions you need to take:

The Reading Conference Notes page includes: (Picture or record of what child’s doing):

  1. Date
  2. Observation
  3. Decide/Teach
  4. Goal
  5. Goal Status- early, on the way, solid
  6. What text they are using

Enjoy the episode!


Resources mentioned in this episode:






'Reading Like a Writer' Years 2-6
with Sharon Callen

July 5 and 6th 10-11.30am, Adelaide time

A specialised workshop for motivated years 2-6 teachers and leaders of literacy who want to equip themselves with the skills to use quality children's texts and a workshop model to develop students as powerful writers.

Two 1.5 hour online workshops over two days in the

July holidays, facilitated by Sharon and Phil Callen

Discount code (15% off) for Teacher's Toolkit for Literacy Facebook members.
See more details and registration here:


Connect with us!

Join our community on Facebook for exclusive resources, Q and A, discussions, insights and more:

Got any questions? Feedback? Thoughts? Email

The Teacher’s Tool Kit For Literacy is the free podcast for motivated teachers and school leaders who want the latest tips, tricks and tools to inspire their students and school community in literacy learning. 

Hear from literacy expert and founder of Cue Learning, Sharon Callen, and special guests.

At Cue Learning, our literacy specialists draw on over 30 years of teaching and international consulting experience to deliver world-class learning solutions. We equip, empower and support teachers to become their authentic selves. 

To find out about upcoming events, and about how Cue can help you and your school, visit the Cue Learning website and sign up to our newsletter

And you can get even more amazing teaching resources, right now, at Teachific

To make sure you don’t miss any literacy learning tips and insights, please subscribe to our show on your favourite podcast player.

Produced by Apiro Media