I’ve been teaching Reading and Writing Workshop for awhile now and one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is keeping anecdotal notes about my students. I’ve tried a ton of different systems: checklists, stickers, sticky notes, clipboards, evernote, excel, even google forms… but I’ve always struggled to stick with it. After I left the classroom and became an instructional coach I found an app that was created in response to this problem. It’s called Confer and was created by David Lowe because he had the same problem I did (which makes me think that maybe I’m not alone. And that always makes you feel better.) Confer is designed to help you keep track of which students you’ve talked with, record teaching points, conferencing notes, reading levels, have pre-created notes that you can check after you’ve talked with a student and even record photographs of student work all within the app. You can group students and track who you have talked to recently and who you need to meet with. I asked a group of teachers to try this out and got really positive feedback about the app and how it helped them keep track of conferences easier. Also, Snapfolio, another note-taking app that is supposed to take Confer to the next level will be coming out soon. To get the scoop on that check it out here.
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