Student-Led Conferences

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by glitterfish, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. glitterfish

    glitterfish Comrade

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    Mar 28, 2009

    I would like to do student-led conferences this year, but I have a few concerns:

    • What if students don't show up?
    • What if the parents just want to talk with me?
    • Will the students stay on-task?
    • How can I properly prepare the students to lead the conferences?

    I've been collecting student work samples and I'm ready to start training the kids to lead their conferences.

    Does anyone have any good forms, such as reflection pages, that I could have the students fill out or a checklist of things to share with their parents?

    Also, we are on Spring Break right now and will have only 1 1/2 weeks to prep for the conferences when we get back to school. Do you think this is enough time to "train" the kids to lead their conference successfully?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 28, 2009

    My school does Parent-Student-Teacher conferences 4 times a year, after the 1st and 2nd trimester and progress report card grades go out. Conferences are mainly requested of those students with either academic or behavioral problems, though anyone is welcome to stop by if they wish.

    I think they're wonderful. The student is accountable for telling the same story to mom and dad as to me. If there's any confusion (remember, mom, that was the week the dog died) it's cleared up there and then.

    I realize my kids are a lot older than yours. But I normally start with "Why don't you tell mom and dad why you're here?" and let the kids take it from there.
     
  4. MissH225

    MissH225 Comrade

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    Mar 28, 2009

    During a field experience I got the opportunity to watch 1st graders do a student lead conference. They filled out a book w/questions and drawings like My favorite thing at school...,What's easy for me?, Whats hard for me? etc.

    The teacher then had them practice in a group. One student was the teacher,the other the student and the other the parent. They then switched until everyone got to do each role.

    During the conference they went through the book and the teacher prompted talking about certain things in the book. Most students did great. Afterwards the teacher student and parent set 2 goals to work on. Obviously the teacher had certain students who needed more help. They thought it was cool too b/c they got to sit in a teacher chair. I was amazed how awesome it went. The whole school did student led conferences (K-2 school...not sure if K did tho).
     
  5. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Mar 29, 2009

    When I send the sheet home for parents to sign up for their conference there is a letter on the other side that explains how conferences will work and that it is mandatory for students to attend the conference since they are preparing a presentation. I actually give a grade for the presentation itself so I have never had a problem with students not showing up. I actually had one mom show up without her child and she promptly went home and brought him back up to school for the conference so he couldn't get out of it.

    If a parent has wanted to speak with me, they generally ask their child to step outside and wait in the hallway during our discussion.

    For their presentations, each student shares a letter that talks about their strengths, areas they want to work on, their goals for the school year, and testing scores. In the spring, it's the same letter but I've added a section where they reflect on their goals they set earlier in the year. Then they share two work samples from each content area and explain what they learned and what they would do to improve on the assignment. There is no room for them to get off task since their parents are listening to the presentation and I'm generally sitting right there with them to keep them on track.

    I would start by having them identify their work samples and placing them inside of a folder. I usually make them out of large pieces of construction paper that are folded in half. Then they work on filling out their half sheets that explain what they learned and what they would do to improve on the assignment. I make sure to check each of the half sheets and when I approve them, I make a star up in the corner. Once they're sheets are done, they begin working on the letter. Afterwards, they usually make their presentation using some sort of technology (PowerPoint, animation, scrapbook, video, etc.). Once that is all done, they practice running through their presentation with a classmate several times so that they're ready to share it with their parents.

    PM with your email address and I'll send you the forms that my students use.

    Preparation for the conferences can be done in 1 1/2 weeks. You might have them only prep one work samples from each content area and complete the letter. Then all they have to do is read off of their paper.
     
  6. glitterfish

    glitterfish Comrade

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    Mar 30, 2009

    Calalilys~
    Thank you so much for all of your wonderful, detailed info! This looks great. Just sent you a PM.
     
  7. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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    Mar 30, 2009

    I found this really cool reflection form where students write out their goals for the trimester/quarter on lauracandler.com. I had the students share their goals with their parents. I often found that the students' goals were about the same as what I would have created for them.
     

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