Using Confer App in Reading Workshop

The biggest mistake regarding record-keeping is not writing things down or not remembering where you wrote it down.-David Mellem

Do you have an organized method for your record-keeping?  I have an old-school grade book and I have one on the iPad.  I have a stack for this and a pile for that.  One of the things that drive me crazy is having some things here and some things there. I have Language Arts and sight word assessments, math assessments, and running records for reading.  In my attempt to consolidate my “stuff” I discovered an app called Confer.

Confer is an app that lets you record and track your students both individually and in small groups.  I teach Reading and Writing Workshop and this app  works very well with that method.  I can take notes on individuals and small groups. I can view students by “tag”, “strength”, “teaching point”, or “next step”.  Creating small flexible groups allows me to see at a glance what those students are working on, what reading level they are on, or what I need to do next with them.  Confer also allows you to upload your data to a Gmail account as a spreadsheet or to upload to any iOS device or to Dropbox.

The downside is the cost.  It is $14.99.  There is a lite version, but it’s a little too lite.  The plus side is that it is easy to use and is very portable in the iPad.  While I use it exclusively for running records and guided reading groups, it can be used in any subject that you wish. When I meet with my grade level team, principal or a parent, I have the data right at hand.

With 30 kindergarten students, having the ability to look at student data in both small group, individual and whole class views quickly is not only convenient, it is necessary.

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