We have now completed 6 months of the school year. It is hard to believe that over half of the year is already over. Communicating student learning continues to be a focus in our district. Here is my post from the beginning of the year.
Soon we will be holding our second set of interviews. This is the first time that we have had a second scheduled interview with parents in a school year. For some of my colleagues, student led- conferences are a new way of meeting as well. They are used to doing parent interviews. We have this year to make the shift, and some teachers have yet to try the student led conferences.
It is also a big shift to be sending home assessment material throughout the year instead of the standard formal report cards we were doing each term. It is supposed to be easier and more authentic, but it is becoming overwhelming and people are getting stressed out. Change is not easy and this is a big shift for many people. Hopefully as time passes, the stress will lessen and the process will be more streamlined.
We are also moving towards using more technology and less paper. Some people are testing out using e-portfolios and class websites to communicate with parents. Others are uploading and scanning assessment papers, rubrics, newsletters, and work samples into group folders.
I have been doing student-led conferences for almost twenty years now, and I love them. Student-led conferences or three way conferences can be very powerful for both the students and the families. It allows for sharing of successes and focuses on what is going well. It is a great way to share learning. The time spent with the teacher is only a small part of the conference and it is usually after the child has done some sharing first. It is a time to discuss what is going well, areas needing improvement, and concerns. The atmosphere is inviting and empowering for the child.
Here are two activities from my student-led conference package. I find them very helpful in the process. The first one is great for getting conversations started, and the letter is a wonderful reflection for the child later on.
What are some of the ways you report back to parents and communicate student learning? I would love to hear about them.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.