The fall conference is scheduled in the middle of our first trimester. About a week before the fall conference each student picks two pieces of work to share and completes reflection sheets if they haven’t been completed already. The reflection sheets require students to think critically about the piece of work. I encourage my students to choose work they are proud of and work that they wish they could do over and improve. I pair students up to practice sharing work. The goal is for the student to talk about the work without having to read the reflection word for word. Practice makes all the difference!
Each conference begins the same way. I address parental questions and/or concerns from the pre-conference questionnaire. Next, the student will share his/her work and the self-reflection. Then, I give an overview of student progress and address any concerns. The last part of the conference is a goal-setting conversation. The parents, student, and I review goals set at the beginning of the year and look at the list of new goals that the student wrote. We decide whether to keep current goals in place or set new goals for the remainder of the term. The goal information is filled out on the student self-assessment sheet. Each conference lasts about 20 minutes, but could be longer if time allowed. Parent feedback is always positive and they love listening to their child share work.
- Two students sit at each of the cafeteria tables. If your cafeteria is bigger than mine you might be able to do one student per table.
- I place a list of steps for the conference on the table to help each student remember what to do. I also purchase small bottles of water and set them on an empty table in case any of the participants get thirsty.
- Family members join their children at each table.
- Each student presents his/her portfolio to their family at the same time. The tables are big enough that having two presentations at the same time is not a problem.
- I float around the cafeteria taking pictures and observing the process. If a student raises his/her hand I will head to the table to answer a question or concern. This does not happen often.
Grab your student reflection forms!