I am never without my trusty clipboard and conferring notes during reading or writing workshop. Click here for my favorite conferring notes sheet:
I also like to have a handy "cheat sheet" to guide me through my conferring. This keeps me focused, with gentle reminders of what I can do to be be responsive and effective in all my conversations with children.
It's helpful to make an outline for the week, tentatively planning which students I will see each week, and what I'll be focusing on. I like to plan using a grid like this:
...or a chart like this: