Feb 24 2011

Reader’s Workshop Conference Notes Go Digital…Leave The Notebooks Behind!

Have I ever mentioned that I struggle to keep my conference notes from Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop organized, if I am able to keep them at all? I have always enjoyed conferencing with my readers and writers, but keeping a record of these conferences has always been my downfall. It is a glaring weakness that I am now able to overcome with the use of digital notes using Word…but not the plain old Word document.

One of my colleagues, Robyn, brought this form of digital note-keeping for the Reader’s Workshop to our last professional development. Ingenious and yet soooooo simple (she does exhibit rock-star abilities!!!). Here is an example of my new conference notes: CONFERENCE NOTES 2-11-11

Pretty Cool, huh? I don’t need to keep tons of paper, spread sheets, or notebooks full of conference notes. I can add tabs for each hour or I can make an entire folder for each student. They are color coded and organized–I can even add a voice recording to each conference. I use the recordings for fluency and to show progress and growth for the year.

Let me take you through the easy process:

  1. Open word
  2. Click on “View”, “Notebook Layout”
  3. Double Click on “tabs” and name them either by student or by class
  4. To open the Audio go to “tools” and “audio notes”
  5. To record, just click on the red record button

I hope you give this a try…it’s a great, organized way to keep conference notes accessible and always printable. The audio just adds another level to conferences=)

Happy Teaching!

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Reader’s Workshop Conference Notes Go Digital…Leave The Notebooks Behind!”

  1.   debbie siscoon 25 Feb 2011 at 9:48 AM     1


    My L.A. teacher just came to me with the same idea and I gave her the big thumbs up! Very cool. You’re right…. Robyn exhibited a rock star move and it’s the collaboration of those ideas that keep us all moving forward. I love reading your stuff!

  2.   Jessica Piperon 25 Feb 2011 at 10:55 AM     2

    It really was a great idea for all of us to use our PD time to collaborate on the things that work for us in our classes and share them out. It makes PD well worth the time and effort–I think if PD was always approached in this manner (ask what we need and then have someone who has had success in their classroom teach us) it would ALWAYS be this productive:-) Everyone of us in the Comm Arts Department walked out with something in our pocket…something we couldn’t wait to use. Thanks so much, Deb!

  3.   Angelaon 19 May 2011 at 9:49 PM     3

    Hi! I was just wondering what Word you are using. I have 2003 and it is not working… wondering if I need to update.

  4.   Jessica Piperon 20 May 2011 at 8:56 AM     4

    Hi, Angela. I use Word 2008…if you can update to it, the conference notes are a breeze=) Thanks for reading!

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