Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Student Led Conferences

Hi everyone!

Alisha from Missing Tooth Grins here! I'm super excited to have my very first post on The Primary Pack today. Please don't go anywhere, but just in case you want to check out my blog for the future, you can click the button below.

missingtoothgrins.blogspot.com

Today, I want to talk to you about student led conferences. Now, some of you may be thinking, "This girl is C-R-A-Z-Y." Or you could be thinking, "What a lazy teacher not conducting her own conferences!" And maybe a few of you are thinking, "What a teaching goddess! Wow! Look at her go with such wonderful ideas and what-not!" Well, I'm here to assure you that all of those things are correct (joking)! I am crazy. I am lazy. And, I'm kidding about the teaching goddess. I am not that one.

However, there is absolutely nothing crazy or lazy about conducting student led conferences. It will actually transform your typical parent/teacher conferences into a collaborative connection between you, your student, and the parents. 

This year was the first time I've ever done student led conferences. I teach at a Leader In Me school and so therefore, it was decided that we conduct these this year. I, of course, am not an expert on this subject whatsoever. However, I'm not an expert in anything. That's the great thing about teaching; you are always learning. 

Anyway, let's get started!

First, you'll need to keep a data binder for each student. If you already have a data binder, then boom you're ready! In this binder, you put... Data! Any data you find that your students' parents would like to see. This quarter, the data in our binders included behavior, attendance, reading levels, and sight words. Typically, we would have math as well, but we didn't include any for this quarter.

Now, remember... I teach first grade. This is how it worked for us. I'm going to walk through our data binders with you the same way I did with my kids. When teaching them how to lead the conference, I first modeled with an example binder. The next day, each of them brought their binders to the carpet and I modeled again with an example binder. I would say what I needed to say about a page, then the students would turn to a partner and share their page to their partner. The next day, our fifth grade buddy room came in and practiced with us. All of the practice really helped for the actual conference. I find it mandatory to conduct these mock interviews.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5qbxVJbDhb-ZXR1c3d4SGtWUzA/view?usp=sharing
Click the picture above to download.

1. Welcome To My Classroom! The student comes into the classroom and show the parents around. The student introduces the teacher. Many of mine said something like, "Mom, Dad... Remember Miss Sanders? Miss Sanders, do you remember Mom and Dad?" (Yes, my firsties really did introduce us and it was adorable.)

2. Data Binder: This is my data binder that I've been using all year to track my data. 

3. Data:

"This is my behavior chart. My goal was to have 8 days on green or above for October. I had 16 so I met my goal."


"This is my attendance. My goal was to be here 23 days and so far I have been here 17 days this month."


 "These are my sight words. I am able to read all of the first list of sight words." There are four lists so the students continued to show all four lists.


"This is my reading level. At the beginning of the school year, I was reading on a level D. Now I'm on a level F. I jumped two levels."


 4. Goals: It's very important for students to make goals, whether you have student led conferences or not. It's also important for students to look back at their goals regularly to determine how they are doing.

"My personal goal is I want to be here everyday. My academic goal is I want to be on a level G by Christmas." The student also may tell the parents how he/she can help the child reach these goals.


5. Celebrations

The student shares some celebrations he/she had from the quarter. Some examples are:

A 100% on a math test
 A 100% on a spelling test
 Certificates for Reflex (this is a computer "game" we have a license for to practice math fluency)

 Other examples include, but are not limited to:
  • Receiving Leader Of The Month (student of the month, character of the month, etc.)
  • Honor Roll
  • Improving reading levels
  • Improving in anything really :)
  • Clipping up on the clip chart
  • Anything worth a celebration!
6. Questions: The student asks his/her parents if there are any questions they would like to ask. I sent home this sheet full of questions ahead of time so parents had an idea of what they should ask:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5qbxVJbDhb-ZXR1c3d4SGtWUzA/view?usp=sharing

Click the picture above to download.
 
Students also share a reflection of what they feel they rock at, what they feel they are okay at, and what they feel they need to improve. I made it in a flipchart form so that the students had more fun filling it out than just color in the smiley face form.



Obviously, there are many ways to hold student led conferences, but this is what I have found works for us! If you are interested in trying these out on your own, you can pick up my Student Led Conference Pack for HALF OFF today (October 28th) ONLY! Sidenote: the sight word lists are not included in the pack, but I'm working on making an editable list to include. So, if you purchase today, you will still get those!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Student-Led-Conferences-1517424


Thanks for reading my post! I will be back to post again on the 28th of every month!

3 comments:

  1. I was debating on conducting student led conferences this year, and now you totally convinced me! I love your "mock interviews" and how you provided the visual map for the sequence of the conference! Thanks for all the tips! Tons of great ideas in this post, Alisha!

    Ashley
    One Sharp Bunch

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is an absolutely amazing idea! I love that the students are in charge and parents get to see what their child's progress!
    Kristen

    ReplyDelete
  3. AMAZING!!! I am in love with student led conferences, but even more with the way your presented it and put it all together. Great ideas!!
    Laura

    ReplyDelete