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November 12, 2015

Student-Led Conferences Part Two: The Application

By Kriscia Cabral
Grades 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    You've prepped your students, and you’ve gotten your “data ducks” in a row with help from Lindsey Petlak’s Countdown to Conferences post. You’ve checked out Genia Connell’s amazing post, "Report Card Comments and Parent Conferences Made Easy" filled with tips for both conferences and comments. It is now time to meet with parents. 

    I recently blogged about the preparation phase. In that post, I talked about the importance of putting the sharing and presenting in the hands of your students. This post is a walk-through of what that might look like.

     

     

     

    Student Run-Through

    Before conferences start, I sit with each student. We talk about the goals we worked out together, planning for continued growth. I let students know when their conference is and that they will be in charge of the meeting. I ask each student if they have any questions, and I invite them to choose three pieces of work that they would like to "showcase" or share with parents during the meeting. These pieces of work are what students are proud of. I try to encourage them to vary the work among reading, writing, and math.

     

    Conference Environment

    I set the tone by having a table and chairs set up — enough for both parents and student. I create a workable space for siblings with math manipulatives, crayons, and blank paper for coloring. I have a file folder out with student showcase pieces and assessment pieces as needed when referring to student goals.

    After we all sit, I start the meeting with a few questions. I always address the student first with a question and then follow up by asking the parent(s), “Is this similar to what you're seeing at home?”

    During the conference I try my best to be more of a facilitator of the conversation. I step in to clarify when needed. I try to follow this guide of questions and make sure I address any issues or concerns of the student and parent. If there is a question that parents have, I first address this question to the student and then help them to answer the question from the teacher perspective.

     

    Conference Closing

    At the end of the meeting, we wrap up by reviewing what our next best steps are. I have the student go over these with parents so that all three parties understand what the expectation is for future learning (going over goals, ways to support student learning, and any other strategies we’ve discussed during the meeting). I go over any remaining questions parents might have for me and then close our conversation with an open invitation to communicate at any time with both me and their child when looking for how progress is going.

    Are you thinking about running student-led conferences? Any tips for others? Share below in the comment section!

    Also, I am pleased to offer friends, family, and all my readers this special offer from the Scholastic Store — enjoy!

    Smiles,

    Kriscia

    You've prepped your students, and you’ve gotten your “data ducks” in a row with help from Lindsey Petlak’s Countdown to Conferences post. You’ve checked out Genia Connell’s amazing post, "Report Card Comments and Parent Conferences Made Easy" filled with tips for both conferences and comments. It is now time to meet with parents. 

    I recently blogged about the preparation phase. In that post, I talked about the importance of putting the sharing and presenting in the hands of your students. This post is a walk-through of what that might look like.

     

     

     

    Student Run-Through

    Before conferences start, I sit with each student. We talk about the goals we worked out together, planning for continued growth. I let students know when their conference is and that they will be in charge of the meeting. I ask each student if they have any questions, and I invite them to choose three pieces of work that they would like to "showcase" or share with parents during the meeting. These pieces of work are what students are proud of. I try to encourage them to vary the work among reading, writing, and math.

     

    Conference Environment

    I set the tone by having a table and chairs set up — enough for both parents and student. I create a workable space for siblings with math manipulatives, crayons, and blank paper for coloring. I have a file folder out with student showcase pieces and assessment pieces as needed when referring to student goals.

    After we all sit, I start the meeting with a few questions. I always address the student first with a question and then follow up by asking the parent(s), “Is this similar to what you're seeing at home?”

    During the conference I try my best to be more of a facilitator of the conversation. I step in to clarify when needed. I try to follow this guide of questions and make sure I address any issues or concerns of the student and parent. If there is a question that parents have, I first address this question to the student and then help them to answer the question from the teacher perspective.

     

    Conference Closing

    At the end of the meeting, we wrap up by reviewing what our next best steps are. I have the student go over these with parents so that all three parties understand what the expectation is for future learning (going over goals, ways to support student learning, and any other strategies we’ve discussed during the meeting). I go over any remaining questions parents might have for me and then close our conversation with an open invitation to communicate at any time with both me and their child when looking for how progress is going.

    Are you thinking about running student-led conferences? Any tips for others? Share below in the comment section!

    Also, I am pleased to offer friends, family, and all my readers this special offer from the Scholastic Store — enjoy!

    Smiles,

    Kriscia

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Susan Cheyney

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