Conferences-what do you show?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by VANewbie, May 6, 2011.

  1. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    May 6, 2011

    I know it is soooooo early to to be thinking about this but I am trying to make lists of things that I need to get done for next year and organize and other stuff.

    While looking through my files I realize I am lacking things to show at conferences. I know you are to show student work but what kinds of student work do you show?

    What other things do you show?

    I tell the parents the students reading level, show a writing sample, show a 100's chart filled out and a behavior chart.

    I know this is something I really need to work on for next year.
     
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  3. ally06

    ally06 Companion

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    May 7, 2011

    I show a writing sample, discuss their reading level, comprehension and how they are using their reading strategies. I will often show the actual running record and I point out and discuss their errors. I also show their most recent sightword test, the most recent maths test and their maths books. Sometimes I will show some science or SOSE work samples but usually I will just discuss these if there are any major problems.

    I find that this is enough and we also have a good discussionn about behaviour and social issues as well.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    May 7, 2011

    We usually spend most of conference time discussing last year's testing and a little of this year.

    I use the testing to determine goals with the students. Then we have lists of activities for the students so that they can work on the standards at home. The parents choose a few to practice at home.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I always have students choose samples to show that demonstrate things they did well and areas for improvement.
     
  6. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    May 7, 2011

    Thanks...silly me.
    I always show the students reading level and then well thats it. :(
    I never even thought to talk about their comprehension and what strategies or what they need to work on.

    They don't teach you how to conduct conferences in school. Luckily this is only my 2nd year so I just made it up as I went.
     
  7. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    May 7, 2011

    I started to show work at a recent parent (team) conference and one of the other teachers in the conference stopped me with, "I don't think she wants to see any work; she already knows her daughter is failing."

    I read a book recently that suggested you have the student read a leveled passage to the parent... this would be for struggling readers... to show the parent how the student reads.

    I recently had a parent tell me, "She can read! But the school keeps sending home these picture books!" The child is in middle school and reads on a 1-2nd grade level!
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    May 7, 2011

    Ours are student led. We make a script for them to follow. It goes through each subject and basically says where they are (on grade level, list of test scores or whatever would show that). They then write a reflection for each subject saying what they enjoy, what they are good at, what they need to improve and how parents can help at home. They also reflect on our "community traits" to talk about behavior.

    My college program did teach us how to do conferences...we had to set them up and do mock conferences in front of everyone. We had notes for home that would say the time and three things that we wanted to discuss, the parent would send it back and sign off on the time as well as write up to 3 things that they would like to discuss. We then put together folders that showed student work and where they were, answered any questions, and sent home any relevant materials that could help the student at home.
     
  9. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    How do you get the students to come in? We have our conferences on teacher workdays and I know many students would not be able to come.
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Why wouldn't the students be able to come?

    We have our conferences on teacher work days and the parents just bring their child in with them.
     
  11. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    May 7, 2011

    I just assume that the parents are coming around their work schedule. I just think it would be a hassle for them to have to bring their child for only 15 mins.
    I dont' know. I guess it would be something to consider for next year.
     
  12. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    May 7, 2011

    I did student-led conferences this year, and told the parents to bring the child with them. We have a conference day right after our workday, so I stay late one night to accommodate those parents who work during the day and have trouble taking off.
     
  13. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    May 7, 2011

    We always have the child invited because our conferences our student centered. You could always recommend that the children come and see what happens.
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Ours are at night, but if the child isn't at school obviously they would be available to come. The parent just needs to bring them with them. One of the reasons my school actually started doing student-led conferences was to increase participation. The kids spend a ton of time making portfolios and preparing for them, so then they hassle the parents about coming in. They went from like 40% participation to 95%.
     
  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    The teacher that I am co-teaching with right now doesn't do student-led conferences, but we always invite/encourage/expect our students to come with their parents and most do. For many of the older students, they want to hear first-hand what we say about them to their parents.
     
  16. ally06

    ally06 Companion

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    May 7, 2011

    I like to have at least one lot of conferences that are parents-only - I have to talk to parents about their child being behind, needing extra support, possibly repeating the year and behaviour/social issues they have. I don't think a six-year-old needs to hear this in the same detail the parents need to hear it.
     
  17. ally06

    ally06 Companion

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    Don't worry, it took me a few years to be comfortable with conferences - we were never taught about them either. After 10 years I can do them pretty easily and naturally but it has taken a long time and I am still learning and improving every year!
     
  18. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    May 7, 2011

    Ally we only have one official conference a year. It is at the beginning of the year and the parents seems so interested and involved and then the end of 2nd quarter roles around and then the end of 4th quarter comes and I never see the parents again.

    I've never had a parent request an additional conference with me. And sometimes they do not even show up to the only one we have. And do not make any effort to come to a make up date.
     
  19. ally06

    ally06 Companion

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    May 7, 2011

    That's hard when you don't get to see the parents and there's not much you can do about parents not turning up.
    I'm lucky - we have to offer at least 2 formal interviews per year and, now that I am in the younger grades, rarely have a parent who does not come. I also have a few 'extra' interviews each term that either I request or parents do. I also see a lot of the parents every morning or afternoon when they drop off/pick up. So yeah, lots of communication with most parents which makes it much easier to deal with problems quickly!
     
  20. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    May 7, 2011

    I teach 1st and you would think they would show up.
     
  21. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    You would think that parents would show up to first grade conferences.
     
  22. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    May 7, 2011

    Exactly. Many don't.
     
  23. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    May 8, 2011

    I am required to only have one a year as well. Even in Kindergarten sometimes they don't come. SAD!
     
  24. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    May 16, 2011

    My students pull 2 writing, 2 reading, 2 math, 1 science, and 1 social studies assignment to share at their student-led conferences. They also go over their test data with their parents and talk about their goals and where they are at achieving them. They share their strengths and areas they want to improve in, too.
     
  25. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    May 16, 2011

    Sometimes it can be helpful to have a previous years example of writing (with no names) or books at reading level to show the grade level expectations to the parent. You can show the parent the students work and the expected level of achievement for the grade. Explain what is above and beyond for their child or what is lacking. Then explain for the lower level kids how you and the school intend to increase their skills to get them there.

    Other things parents care about is social aspects of school or if the child is continually having difficulties with behavioral aspects of school. If the same method has been applied for a whole quarter or more, parents don't want to hear that the same method will continue to be used because it isn't working to change the behavior. This isn't as much as an issue for first grade, but as the grades increase if the red, yellow, green or some varient hasn't worked yet, it probably isn't going to help the problem again. So, what is the plan? How long will you try something new?

    This is what parents want to know.
     

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