Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Student-Led Conferences (and we have a WINNER!!!)

First of all, I know you're all excited to see who our winner is!  Nobody can see it, but you all have "invisible numbers"...I have to copy your comments, paste them into Word, and THEN I can see the numbers!  :P  Something to do with the new "nesting" of comments...

Ok, moving on!  Drumroll.......the winner is....

Which means our winner is Ms. Chrissy B!!!!!  Congratulations!!!!

If you'd still like to snag a copy, head on over to my TpT store! :)

Now on to Student-Led Conferences...

We had them tonight and will have them again on Thursday.  Here's how I run them in my room.

We send home time request slips about a month in advance.  Being student-led, I schedule 3-4 students at the same time.  I circulate around the room as they go through their list of things to do.  They show their parents everything!  I am there to answer questions, address concerns, and just mingle with the families.  It's very laid back for me and very informative for the parents!

I post a schedule outside my door so that the parents can see a reminder of when their time slot happens to be.  They can also see if there are others scheduled before or after them...it helps them keep to the time limit a little bit better.

When they come in, everything is ready.  We practice during  the school day so that they know what to do when they come in.  Data binders, books, and conference sheets are on their desk waiting.

On our Promethean Board, I displayed a PowerPoint image to show what the agenda is for the evening.  The students can reference it to make sure they complete all the tasks that they are supposed to do with their parents.

The first thing up is a conference sheet.  I fill out things to show their current grades and what their successes and struggles are in certain areas of reading and writing.  They go through this with their parents and identify what they need to work on.

Next, the students share their data binders with their parents.  They have a class mission statement and a personal mission statement that they go over with their parents.  The students also have graphs with baseline data from the beginning of the year.  We track  extended response (writing), sight words read in 1 minute, and fluency.  They love looking at their growth (or think really hard about why they might NOT be making any growth...I love hearing them come up with solutions with their parents)!

Next, they read a portion of a book to their parents.  I use the leveled readers that come with Reading Street.  I choose one that they've already read so that they're familiar with it.  They read just a couple pages so their parents can hear them read.  Sadly, some parents never listen to their child read and I feel like it's SO important.

Then they show their Study Island graphs to their parents.  Our school participates in the Study Island program on the computers to prepare them for testing.  If the kids (any of them in the whole building) get all blue ribbons, they are rewarded with a skating party at our local skate place at the end of the year.  I graph how many blue ribbons they have and then the parents get to see how far along their child is coming with completing it.

Finally, I have them do their "Hunks and Chunks" for their parents!  Ohmygoodness y'all (sorry...Southern excitement coming out here!), the parents LOVE THIS!  It's SO entertaining!  If you're unfamiliar with The Phonics Dance, you HAVE to check it out!  I went to the workshop this past summer and it has CHANGED the way I teach phonics!  It's such a fabulous and fun way that really sticks with my students.  It will be SO worth your time and money!  Guaranteed!  The parents get a kick out of the little chants and motions that go with each hunk and chunk.

So there ya have it!  In a nutshell.  Our Student-Led Conferences.  :)  Ok, I'm tired and out...it's been a LOOOOONG DAY!!!! :)

(Now I get to come back to school in 10 hours to present my blog and TpT store at our staff meeting!  Ay, ay, ay...my stomach is in knots, but I'm PUMPED!  :P)


  1. I loved your step by step walk through student led conferences, it's certainly something I really want to try! :)
    Stories From Second

  2. Loved seeing the data books and hearing more about student led conferences! I'm definitely going to give this a try!

  3. Hi, Sarah! Tagging you in my post, hope you'll play along! :-)


  4. I LOVE this idea! Is this something that you do on your own or something that your school/district does?

    Would love to bounce ideas back and forth about Reading Street, if you're interested. My email is amanda.c.archer@gmail.com.