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cray0laskies's Message:

I LOVE doing Student-Led conferences! We do them once a year, but I'm thinking about upping that to 2 or 3 times a year because they're so effective. I teach a middle school 6th grade class, so out kids have 4 separate teachers. The week before conferences, we give them a script in each class and help them fill in the blanks. It truly is a SCRIPT - almost like what you read for state testing - so that each kid says the same thing. We've discovered this is much more effective because it leaves so little up to chance or a kids' interpretation. They read the script and fill in the blanks with the work samples they've chosen, practice a few times, and are ready to go! We color code the scripts (blue paper for math, pink for LA, etc) and this seems to help a lot too. Each script ends with "Do you have any questions about _______?" and a few questions for the kid and parent to discuss and answer together (like "What should I do to improve?")

The biggest thing is to have the kids prepared. We make them practice with peers in class, have a checklist for what to bring, and stress that THEY are in charge. They love walking into school with their parents feeling like they're more knowledgeable than their parents - they know where to go, what to do, and what to say, and the parents follow along bewildered. It's a funny change from Open House night Each of us makes a point to stop by each conference, usually when we see the kid with our colored script in hand (the conferences are going on simultaneously - sometimes as many as 12 between all our rooms). The KIDS are responsible for introducing us (we teach them how to do this), and that gives us a chance to either pop in with some information about the kid or just ask how things are going.

I'll try to track down my LA script and attach it soon.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
cray0laskies 06-04-2009 07:28 AM

I LOVE doing Student-Led conferences! We do them once a year, but I'm thinking about upping that to 2 or 3 times a year because they're so effective. I teach a middle school 6th grade class, so out kids have 4 separate teachers. The week before conferences, we give them a script in each class and help them fill in the blanks. It truly is a SCRIPT - almost like what you read for state testing - so that each kid says the same thing. We've discovered this is much more effective because it leaves so little up to chance or a kids' interpretation. They read the script and fill in the blanks with the work samples they've chosen, practice a few times, and are ready to go! We color code the scripts (blue paper for math, pink for LA, etc) and this seems to help a lot too. Each script ends with "Do you have any questions about _______?" and a few questions for the kid and parent to discuss and answer together (like "What should I do to improve?")

The biggest thing is to have the kids prepared. We make them practice with peers in class, have a checklist for what to bring, and stress that THEY are in charge. They love walking into school with their parents feeling like they're more knowledgeable than their parents - they know where to go, what to do, and what to say, and the parents follow along bewildered. It's a funny change from Open House night Each of us makes a point to stop by each conference, usually when we see the kid with our colored script in hand (the conferences are going on simultaneously - sometimes as many as 12 between all our rooms). The KIDS are responsible for introducing us (we teach them how to do this), and that gives us a chance to either pop in with some information about the kid or just ask how things are going.

I'll try to track down my LA script and attach it soon.

Andrea Davis 06-02-2009 09:22 PM

I am hoping you can forward a copy of those wonderful student led conference forms I just read about! I would be very grateful. Thank you.

maryteach 04-01-2009 03:40 PM

Your directions were great, but I can't get the document to paste anyway but all weird. So anyone who is still checking this thread and would like the conference form (I really do have it, guys) please PM me with your email address and I'll send it to you that way. I can just forward it and there's no cutting and pasting required.

I'm truly sorry for the delay.

tangolily 03-21-2009 07:00 AM

This gives me a lot to think about and I love it. Thanks for sharing.

maryteach 03-19-2009 10:59 AM

This is the math teacher's. I can post my lang arts one tonight. The funny little symbols next to the behavior criteria are supposed to be boxes but they didn't copy that way.



MATH CONFERENCE SCRIPT
Read through this entire script with your parents, please!


Period: _______ Student Name: _______________________________ _______________________________ ______


Please show your parents your portfolio. Show and explain the following items to them:
· Yearly Plan
· A Quiz or Test Analysis Sheet
· Weekly Goal Setting Sheet
· Daily Monitoring Sheet
· Grade Sheet (attached to this)


The following statements describe me as a student:


When I come into class, I:
q fill out my planner & monitoring sheet immediately
q take out my homework
q sit there without a clue
q talk to my friends

I complete my planner:
q every day
q most days
q some days
q never

I follow instructions:
q all the time
q most of the time
q when I feel like it
q never

My behavior in class is:
q polite and considerate
q cooperative and helpful
q occasionally distracting
q disruptive and/or rude

When I am stuck and need help:
q I ask my cooperative group
q I ask the teacher when my group can’t help
q I sit around and waste time
q I distract others

I turn in:
q my best work
q sloppy work
q incomplete work
q very little/no work

I complete Math homework:
q every single night (except some Fridays)
q most nights
q some nights
q rarely/never

If I am working hard, but still struggling in Math:
q I take advantage of WEB tutoring
q I use the online resources, including personal tutor
q I do the extra practice problem in the book
q I have not done anything extra to help myself







I feel happy / sad / excited / relieved / nervous / proud / embarrassed / angry / _____________________ about my grade because:_______________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ ______
_______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ ______________________
_______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ ___


My behavior/attitude affects my grade in a positive / negative way in this class because:_______________________ __________
_______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ ___________
_______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ ______________________


I do / do not take pride in the work I turn in because:_______________________ _______________________________ ___
_______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ __


I can do the following things to improve my grade (or maintain it, if it’s good) in this class:
1. _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _____
2. _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _____
3. _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _____
4. _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _____
5. _______________________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ _____


Teacher Name: Teacher Signature: _________________________
Your student:
q is advanced / proficient / partially proficient / emerging in Math
q is proficient or advanced on all assessments given to date
q needs to retake some assessments to show proficiency
q has not taken several assessments that they should be prepared to take
q is polite and considerate
q is cooperative and helpful
q is occasionally distracting
q is disruptive and/or rude
q works hard and is on-task
q is frequently off-task
q comes prepared
q is frequently missing materials
q sees learning as their main responsibility
q does not seem to take responsibility for his/her own learning
q needs to take advantage of the “Math Strategies for Success” that is attached
q has improved his/her behavior
q has improved his/her work ethic
q has improved academically
q . . . please see the teacher for additional information

jonesey6 03-18-2009 07:33 AM

If you post the forms on this site it would be awesome. We are moving toward student led conferences too. I have done them in a middle school setting. I agree they make a lot of sense because of the numbers. But in an elementary setting, I start feeling like I need to connect with my parents and student led conferences doesn't help with that. I'd love to see your forms. Maybe they would help me to answer some of my concerns.

chocaholic 03-17-2009 01:09 PM

I sent you a reply by PM.

maryteach 03-16-2009 04:26 PM

Chocoholic, how did the one I sent you come through? If it came through as something you could read, I'll send it to the others. If it was unreadable, I may need email addresses. At least I know how to attach something to my email. I'm sorry I'm so dumb. Let me know, chocaholic.

tangolily 03-16-2009 04:18 PM

This would go a long way toward solving a problem we have at our school. I'm trying to think what kinds of things you put on your form. Maryteach - Would you mind sending me the forms you use? If you want, I can then post them for you or tell you how to do it in case you'd like to be able to another time...

Cleopatra 03-16-2009 03:10 PM

Maryteach, may I have a copy of that too, please. It sounds intriguing. I've done it without a set agenda, and sometimes it ends up going in the wrong direction. Thank you in advance.

chocaholic 03-16-2009 10:47 AM

thank you for answering!
Could you PM me sometime with any information/forms you use? That would be so great....I will only have 15 students or so (not like you...WOW) since it's still Elementary for us. However, I just like the idea of them doing the conference and telling their parents how they are doing. I would probably combine it with a traditional conference because the parents are pretty set in that approach. But, I'd love to have part of it done by the students.
I appreciate your help!
Oh, and BTW I just attached my very first attachment on PT a few minutes ago so I feel your pain!

maryteach 03-16-2009 04:04 AM

and they're great. I can't figure out how to attach something to a post, because I'm stupid or something, but if you like, I'll pm you the forms we use.

The best thing about student-led conferences is the students do the whole conference and we don't even have to speak to most parents, unless they have a question. It is so much easier than trying to get to every single parent. If you need to talk with a parent, though, there is a box on the conference form that says "please be sure to see the teacher before you leave."

I resisted student-led conferences for years, believing that I needed to talk to every parent. We finally broke down and tried it this year and all I can say is, we should have been doing it this way right from the beginning. I'm in middle, and have 120 kids, and this is just much more workable. We also let parents know that if they require a traditional parent/teacher conference, they can set up an appointment for that after conferences are over.

chocaholic 03-15-2009 10:29 AM

I just finished my Parent Teacher conferences this week with my 5th graders. Moving to 6th next year and since they are the same parents, I'm wondering about having student-led conferences. At our school, 6th is still in Elementary so I'll have them for math, reading and L.A., Ss and Science.

Anyone have experience with this at this age and/or know of any good websites/resources that might help?
TIA!




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