Listening to children is more a deliberate act than a natural one. It isn't easy to put aside personal preferences, anxieties about helping more children, or the glaring, mechanical errors [miscues] that stare up from the page. I mumble to myself, "Shut up, listen, and learn!
Through our active listening, children become our informants. Unless children speak about what they know, we lose out on what they know and how they know it. Through our eyes and ears we learn from them: their stories, how they solve problems, what their wishes and dreams are, what works/doesn't work. their vision of a better classroom, and what they think they need to succeed.
[Don Graves, 1994, in Conferring:The Keystone to Reader's Workshop by Patrick Allen - pp.149]