Whew! I had a
long big day at school yesterday! Conferences! Wahoo!! Right?
Not right? Yeah-- I know...they can be stressful. There's a lot of information to share in just a few minutes. Then...if you get off schedule....whew! It can be a bit stressful. I do have to say conferences yesterday were the best, least stressful, most effective I've done in a long time! So what was the big difference?
Yup! It was awesome! This year, we've really been working hard with my kiddos on goal setting & setting plans to reach the goals. We started way back at the beginning of the year. After benchmarking, I sat down with each kiddo, & we talked about their level, I asked them where they would like to be in x number of weeks (however many until the end of that grading period). Then each child set a plan for reaching their goal. Do you know that saying, "A goal without a plan is just a wish"?! It's not enough to set a goal.....you also have to set a plan for how you're going to get there!
In a mini-lesson, we all worked together to come up with things we could do that would help us reach our goal. (You can read more about that here). I prettied it all up with fonts & clip art, of course (ha!). You can click the pic to download your own copy.
The reason that I'm sharing about the goal setting is that that is what made doing student led conferences so EASY! Seriously! E.Z! It gave even my littles the support they needed to deliver a seriously awesome conference with their parents. In a brief synopsis, here's what it sounded like:
"Back at the first of the year, I was a level J. I worked really hard, and now I'm on Level M. I want to
be on Level N, and my plan to reach my goal is to read every day, practice retelling, and read 20 minutes every day. And look at this mom (pointing at the table at the bottom). Here are the goals for first grade. I'm on level M (pointing)...and it's in the 3rd grade!".
Oh, my. It was marvelous to listen to kiddos sharing this information with their parents. Powerful!
Parents were so impressed. Most importantly-- think about the ownership these kiddos have!
Have you done student-led conferences? I'd love to hear your experiences! How do you set up/plan your student-led conferences?