Student led conferences
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STUDENT-LED CONFERENCES. John F. Kennedy High School Lynne Ridgill WS/FC Middle School Project 2011-2012.

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STUDENT-LED CONFERENCES

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Student led conferences

STUDENT-LED CONFERENCES

John F. Kennedy

High School

Lynne Ridgill

WS/FC Middle School Project

2011-2012


Student led conferences

“Since early adolescence is a crucial period in establishing a clear self-concept and positive self-esteem, assessment and evaluation should emphasize individual progress rather than comparison with other students. The goal is to help students discover and understand their strengths, weaknesses, interests, values, and personalities. Student self-evaluation is an important means of developing a fair and realistic self-concept.”

(This We Believe: Successful Schools for Young Adolescents, 2003, p. 27)


Student led conferences

Turning Points (Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, 1989) recommended that middle grades schools “reengage families in the education of young adolescents by giving families meaningful roles in school governance, communication with families about the school program and student’s progress, and offering families opportunities to support the learning process at home and at the school.” Turning Points 2000 further advanced this idea and called for middle grades schools that involve parents and communities in supporting student learning and healthy development.

(Jackson & Davis, 2000)


Student led conferences

“This practice is the biggest breakthrough in communicating about student achievement in the last century. When students are well prepared over an extended period to tell the story of their own success (or lack thereof), they seem to experience a fundamental shift in their sense of responsibility for that success. The pride in accomplishment that students feel when they have a positive story to tell and to tell it well can be immensely motivational. The sense of personal responsibility that they feel when anticipating what it will be like to face the music of having to tell their story of poor achievement can also drive them to productive work.”

(Rich Stiggins, 1999)


What is a student led conference

  • Student-led conferences are those in which students facilitate meetings between the student, their teacher, and their parents for the purpose of:

  • Reviewing educational progress (portfolios, grades, etc..).

  • Setting goals.

  • Securing parent help with goals.

  • “A time when parents and students talk about school.”

  • Jack Berckemeyer

WHAT IS A STUDENT-LED CONFERENCE?


What does research say

  • Increased parent attendance at conferences. (Hackmann, 1996)

  • Parents preferred student led conferences over the traditional parent teacher conference. (Hackmann et al, 1998)

  • Students reported increased self-confidence and personal satisfaction with being directly involved with conferences. (Hackmann et al,1998)

  • Teachers reported a reduced conference preparation workload and diminished levels of teacher stress during conferences. (Hackmann et al, 1998)

  • - Parent and teacher bonds were strengthened. Both teacher and parent were more likely to initiate subsequent contacts throughout the remainder of the school year. (Hackmann et al, 1998)

WHAT DOES RESEARCH SAY?


Possible goals for student led conferences

  • To encourage students to accept personal responsibility for their academic performance.

  • To teach students the process of self-evaluation.

  • To facilitate the development of students’ organizational and oral communication skills and to increase their self-confidence.

  • To encourage parents, students, and teachers to engage in open and honest dialogue.

  • To increase parent attendance at conferences.

  • (Guyton & Fielstein, 1989; Hackmann, 1996)

POSSIBLE GOALS FOR STUDENT-LED CONFERENCES


Benefits of student led conferences

  • Helps parents understand what is taking place in the classroom.

  • Students are accountable for classroom work and assignments.

  • Provides quality parent-child time.

  • Time to focus on learning instead of behavioral issues.

  • Encourages students to accept personal responsibility for their academic performance.

  • Teaches students the process of reflection and self-evaluation.

  • Develops students’ oral communication and organizational skills.

  • Increases self-confidence.

  • Enhances communication between parent and child.

  • Provides students a voice in their assessment of their learning.

BENEFITS OF STUDENT-LED CONFERENCES


3 phases to the student led conference process

  • 1. Preparation.

  • Actual conference.

  • 3. Evaluation component.

(3) PHASES TO THE STUDENT-LED CONFERENCE PROCESS


Preparation

  • A. Develop an action plan:

  • Purpose of the conference. What are your goals? What will students share?

  • Develop a timeline for implementation.

  • Roles/responsibilities of teachers, students, and parents.

  • How/when to inform students and parents?

  • Resources needed?

  • How will conferences be run? How many at a time? How much time each? When – night or day? What if parents do not attend?

PREPARATION


Student led conferences timeline for staff student preparation

August 30th – November 8th: Teach, reflect, and gather sample work to use in conferences.

September 5th: Inform parents about the concept via letter, website, and team newsletter.

Share SLC plan and responsibilities with

students.

September 10th – 25th: Plan cover sheets, reflection process, goals process, and scheduling process with team teachers. Create family friendly schedule.

November 1st: Send home scheduling letter for parents to fill out and return.

November 1st – 10th: Plan schedule for conferences(consult parents if needed).

November 10th: LA teachers help students write “Dear Parent” letters.

November 9th – 10th: Collect work for portfolio (give to appropriate HR teacher).

November 12th: Attach report card copy.

November 15th – 18th: HR teachers help students organize all work, fill in table of contents, and write (2) goals. Teach and practice the conference procedure.

STUDENT-LED CONFERENCESTIMELINE FOR STAFF/STUDENT PREPARATION


Student led conferences timeline for staff student preparation cont d

November 21st: Send home reminder invitation. Final check on portfolios. Attach parent homework.

November 22-23rd: Student-led conference.

November 29-30th: Conference with students whose parents were unable to attend.

December 1st: How did it go? Discuss teacher, student, and parent evaluations.

Other: Attend to details such as:

- Child care

- Refreshments

- Parent initiatives

- Special schedule considerations

- Location

- Translators

- Special displays of student work

- Evaluation forms for parents & students

STUDENT-LED CONFERENCESTIMELINE FOR STAFF/STUDENT PREPARATION (cont.’d)


Parent letter sample

PARENT LETTER - SAMPLE

November 4th, 2004

Dear Parents/Family Members,

The sixth grade students are busy preparing for student-led conferences. This is an opportunity for your special student to present his/her progress and goals to you personally. Teachers are assisting students as they select specific work samples from their classes, organize their portfolios, and rehearse their presentations. We believe that students are empowered and their future success is assured when they are accountable for their work, reflect and communicate their progress, and set learning goals.

Your students will be responsible for directing the student-led conferences. As parents or family members, your role will be to focus on the learning process (not just grades), recognize your children’s achievements, ask them questions when information shared is unclear, and work with them to set goals for future success. The students are very excited about this opportunity.

Our student-led conferences will be scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, November 17th, and the evening of Thursday, November 18th. Enclosed is a conference sign-up sheet that needs to be filled out and returned to school with your child as soon as possible. Sixth grade students and teachers look forward to seeing you.

Because this time is student-centered, if you would like to discuss your child’s progress with teachers, we encourage you to set up an appointment for an alternate date with the teacher or team by calling 797-1814. We always look forward to meeting with our students’ parents and are available before, and at certain times during the school day. Remember that phone conferences can also be successful. Thank you for your continued support.

Very sincerely,

The Teachers of Learning Community 6-2


Preparation cont d

  • B. Create Portfolios:

  • What will be included?

  • Table of contents.

  • Evidences from each subject area (work should focus on skills/processes).

  • Reflections – identify strengths, growth areas, from each piece of work and/or subject area.

  • Goal setting – clear/attainable goals.

  • Report card.

  • Other: Cover sheet for each subject area, Dear Parent letter, behavior checklist, citizenship checklist, teacher evaluation, etc..

PREPARATION (cont.’d)


Contents of student led conferencing portfolio

Table of Contents (lists all items in portfolio – filled out in core class).

Dear Parent Letter (serves as an icebreaker, introduces parents to conference, written in core).

Work samples

Core Cover Sheet (completed in core class by both teacher and student).

2 to 4 samples of core class work with self-reflections.

Science or Health Cover Sheet (completed in Science or Health class by both teacher and student)

1 to 2 samples of science or health class work with self-reflections.

Math Cover Sheet (completed in math class by both teacher and student).

1 to 2 samples of science or health class work with self-reflections.

PE Cover Sheet* (completed in PE class by both teacher and student).

1 to 2 samples of PE class work with self-reflections.

Elective Cover Sheet* (completed in elective class by both teacher and student).

1 to 2 samples of elective class work with self-reflections.

* Some 8th graders will have two electives and no PE.

Missing Work – Any uncompleted work should be indicated by a “missing work” form to be filled out by the student in class.

Report Card (This will be attached by the homeroom teacher).

TMS Goals for Success (completed in case manager group)

All students should have two goals and plan for accomplishment written on their goal sheet. Students will write 3rd goal in conjunction with parent during the conference. Students should have a 3rd goal and plan ready to use in case parents do not have one to suggest. For easy “access” this goal should be written down on the inside of their portfolio folder.

Parent Homework Letter (to be attached by homeroom teacher).

This is self-explanatory. Parents are encouraged (but not required) to respond to their child’s conference in writing.

CONTENTS OF STUDENT-LED CONFERENCING PORTFOLIO


Table of contents student led conferences talent middle school fall 2007

  • Name: _________________________________________Date: _____________

  • Dear Parent Letter

  • Core (Reading, Writing, Social Studies) Cover Sheet

  • _________________________________________

  • _________________________________________

  • _________________________________________

  • Mathematics Cover Sheet

  • _________________________________________

  • _________________________________________

  • Science or Health Cover Sheet

  • _________________________________________

  • _________________________________________

  • Elective Cover Sheet

  • __________________________________________________________________________________

  • PE or 2nd Elective Cover Sheet

  • _________________________________________

  • _________________________________________

  • Report Card

  • Goals for Success

  • Parent Homework

TABLE OF CONTENTS STUDENT-LED CONFERENCESTALENT MIDDLE SCHOOL/FALL 2007


Evidence reflection math

Name: ______________________________

Date: _______________________________

I am proud of this piece of work because… ________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

What I have learned and/or enjoyed about this piece of work is… ______________________

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

EVIDENCE REFLECTION/MATH

EVIDENCE REFLECTION/MATH

Name: ______________________________

Date: _______________________________

I could have done better on this piece of work because…____________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

This piece of work was difficult for me because… __________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________


Core reading writing speaking and social studies

Name: _________________________________________Teacher: ______________________

Behaviors of a Success Student:

+ Exceeds expectationsa meets expectations- needs improvement

SELFTEACHER

____________Completes classwork/homework on time

____________Works independently

____________Works well in a group

____________Manages behavior appropriately

____________Comes to class prepared to learn

COMMENTS:

CORE (READING, WRITING, SPEAKING, and SOCIAL STUDIES)


Tms math

Name:________________________

Teacher: ______________________

Course: _______________________

Class Expectations:Ratings:StudentTeacher

Responsibility for Assigned Tasks:________________

Classroom Behavior:________________

Key to Ratings:

+ Exceeds expectationsa meets expectations- needs improvement

COMMENTS:

TMS MATH


Tms science

Name:_________________________________________________

Teacher: __ McNichol__ Schofield__ Russo

Title of Work: ___________________________________________

Class ExpectationsRatings:StudentTeacher

Works well with lab partners______________

Works safely with lab equipment______________

Stays on task and completes work______________

Key to Ratings:

+ Exceeds expectationsa meets expectations- needs improvement

COMMENTS:

TMS SCIENCE


Tms electives

Name:________________________

Teacher: ______________________

__ Arts/Crafts__ Band__ Choir__ Computers__ Journalism

__ Applied Math/Sci (Tech)__ Aide__ Spanish__ Intro to languages

Class Expectations:Ratings:StudentTeacher

Shows respect for others, self and property:_______________

Stays on task to complete work:________________

Key to Ratings:

+ Exceeds expectationsa meets expectations- needs improvement

COMMENTS:

TMS ELECTIVES


Tms goals for success

Name: ____________________________________________Date:_____________

My strengths are:

A.

B.

C.

I need to work on:

A.

B.

C.

First Goal _________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

To achieve this goal, I will

A.

B.

Second Goal _______________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

To achieve this goal, I will

A.

B.

Third Goal _________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

To achieve this goal, I will

A.

B.

People who can help me attain these goals are:

Distractions that may get in the way of accomplishing these goals are:

_____________________________________________________________________

Student SignatureParent SignatureCase Manager Signature

TMS GOALS FOR SUCCESS


Missing work

Student Name:________________________Teacher Name: ______________________

Assignment Title: _____________________Subject: ___________________________

Assignment Due Date: ______________________________

I was given the opportunity to do this work but either did not complete it or turn it in because:

____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

MISSING WORK


Parent homework

Dear Parent,

THANK YOU for participating in your child’s conference… now you have some homework. Please write your child a positive personal note about the conference. Below are some areas you might think about including as you write:

What I noticed about your work was…

I was proud of you for…

Keep up the good work on…

I know you have difficulties sometimes, but…

I’m glad you are making an extra effort in…

How can I help?

We hope this experience was as rewarding to you and your child as the process was to us. Thanks again for taking the extra effort!

Sincerely,

Talent Middle School Staff

PARENT HOMEWORK


Preparation cont d1

C. Assist students in designing a script, an outline, and/or an agenda.

PREPARATION (cont.’d)


Student procedures for conferencing

  • Introduce your parents or guardian to your case manager.

  • Explain you will be sharing your fall portfolio during the conference.

  • Briefly review the Table of Contents to give an overview of what is in your portfolio.

  • Read your “Dear Parent” letter.

  • Present your work.

    • Share the information on the cover sheet

    • For each piece share:

    • - What the assignment was

    • - What knowledge or skills you learned by doing it

    • - What process you went through to complete the piece

    • - Key portions of your self-reflection by reading them aloud

  • Share your report card with your parents.

  • Goal setting.

  • Explain the two goals you have set

  • Write a third goal with your parents

  • Parent homework letter

  • Give your parents their “assignment sheet” and ask them if they would be willing to write you a note as explained on the sheet. What they write can be kept at home or returned to school to put in your portfolio

  • Closing

  • Thank your parents for attending your conference

STUDENT PROCEDURES FOR CONFERENCING


Preparation cont d2

  • Prepare for the conference:

  • - Teachers model.

  • - Role play.

  • - Practice! Practice! Practice!

PREPARATION (cont.’d)


Rehearsal sheet

Name: ____________________

Partner: ___________________

1ST Run2nd Run

REHEARSAL SHEET

Comments:


Actual conference

* There are two ways in which conferences are conducted:

1. The teacher personally attends each student/parent

conferences.

2. The teacher schedules 4-5 conferences simultaneously with the teacher moving around the classroom and attending to groups as needed.

Sample conference agenda: (student facilitates- he/she should have a

script/outline and/or an agenda.)

- Introductions.

- Present portfolio/report card.

- Review reflections.

- Set goals.

- “Thank you’s”.

ACTUAL CONFERENCE


Evaluation component

  • * Evaluation is vital in order for the school to

  • be responsive to parent and student needs. It

  • also allows the school to “fine tune” the

  • process.

  • A. Student Evaluation

  • B. Parent Evaluation

  • C. Teacher Evaluation

EVALUATION COMPONENT


Evaluation component cont d

  • Student Evaluation: (sample questions)

  • 1. Were you organized for the conference?

  • 2. What surprised your parents most during the

  • conference?

  • 3. Did you notice any trends concerning your work?

EVALUATION COMPONENT (cont.’d)


Evaluation component cont d1

  • Parent Evaluation: (sample questions)

  • 1. What did you learn about your child during the

  • conference?

  • 2. What (2) suggestions do you have to help increase

  • or maintain your child’s success at school?

  • 3. Were your concerns and questions answered

  • appropriately by your child?

EVALUATION COMPONENT (cont.’d)


Evaluation component cont d2

  • Teacher Evaluation: (sample questions)

  • 1. Did you have enough time to introduce yourself to

  • parents?

  • 2. What seemed to work well?

  • 3. How would you change the process?

EVALUATION COMPONENT (cont.’d)


Considerations

  • -Consider having students create a card inviting their parents to the conference.

  • -Consider having students write a thank you note to parents for attending the conference.

  • Consider having parents write a letter to students thanking them for their efforts in this process.

  • Consider writing your students a note the day of the conference wishing them good luck.

  • Consider writing your students a letter congratulating them on successfully completing their conference.

  • Provide simple refreshments for the conference – (acts as an “ice breaker” for students).

CONSIDERATIONS


Great website resources

Conway Middle School Guide to Student-Led Conferences:

www.prichardcommittee.org/pubs/cat/student-led_conferences.pdf

Talent Middle School forms, checklists, letters, etc.:

www.phoenix.k12or.us/tms/slc

Frisbie Middle School Student-Led Conferences Interdisciplinary Project:

http://mathforum.org/alejandre/frisbie/coyote/interdisciplinary6.html

GREAT WEBSITE RESOURCES


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