For me, one of the best ways to stay tuned in to students is by circulating around the room and pausing to chat with them while they read, write, or work with a partner or group. These kinds of informal conferences are a great ways to start meeting with students for short bursts of time on a regular basis.
I recommend that you jot down key points of these conversations on sticky notes. I usually give the notes to students so they have a record of our brief meeting and can use it to refresh their memories.
I invite you to ask questions about conferring and share some of your conferring experiences—both positive and negative.