Friday, October 17, 2014

Student Led Conferences- the Details!

Fall conference time is quickly approaching, and I wanted to share with you about SLC (Student Led Conferences).
Student led conferences align perfectly with our Leader in Me initiative in my disctrict, but also with practicing Speaking and Listening skills as well! 
Below you'll see some of the comparisons between traditional conferences and student led conferences.

 With student led conferences, parents become more involved and excited to come into the classroom because the typical stigma and nerves related to conferences is eliminated.
Check out a few other benefits to SLC!

 Still need a little nudge to try student led conferences? Check out these top reasons to implement them this year!

Before you get too stressed about something else "new".... check out how easy student led conferences are to implement!

What should you include in a note home to parents?
My advice? Don't over analyze the process and try to explain each detail to parents.
Keep the note short and sweet, chances are your kiddos will share information with families as they are preparing for their conference! 
 Here's a closer peek at an example!
Be sure to give parents choices to allow for flexible scheduling and accommodations with siblings.

One concern many teachers immediately jump to when discussing student led conferences is privacy .
First, let me begin by saying that you shouldn't be addressing a concern for the first time during conferences. Second, anything that you and a parent would be discussing directly relates to the student anyway, so why not involve them?
We all have those barometer children who we may want some extra time with or to be more involved in their conference. It's simple! Just schedule those children and families at a separate time. You could always have the student step outside or to another part of the room if you need to talk to the parents directly.
I created a few sample schedules to show you how you could arrange your conference time to allow a more private conference for those barometer students you may want to have more input with.
 
These first samples detail what a schedule could look like for an individual teacher.


 

The next few samples are examples of what a schedule may look like if your entire team was holding conferences together (think of grade level teachers who specifically teach one subject). 


 
In my grade level, we are using my 2nd grade student data binders combined with our Leader in Me tree maps and WIG goals for our student leadership notebooks.
In your classroom, you could just as easily have the students show examples of their work to parents and set goals for the year.
Allow the students time to practice their conference with you or their classmates before conference time. Provide them with a script if you so desire.
Another tip: have soft music playing in the background!
 Conference night has arrived!
Greet families and let students guide the way.
Display a PowerPoint slide of pictures or of directions for the evening, or just write a quick note on the board of a message you don't want to repeat each time someone comes in the room.
At this point, all you need to do is monitor from a distance and walk around the room.
You can help close conferences by answering any questions families may have, or encouraging them to continue their conversations at home.





 
If you're interested in a PowerPoint to share with your staff, just email me and I'd be happy to send this to you in PowerPoint form!
 
What other questions do you have about Student Led Conferences?

2 comments:

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  2. Hi Kacie. Great information. I would love to have a copy if possible of the powerpoint. I would like to share with staff and administrators your information or your links with your permission. Thank you. jgrover@usd268.org

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