Your children have been working hard this week to prepare for their student led conferences.
Why are students included in this conference? Student-included conferences offer the opportunity for developmentally appropriate self-reflection, and they create a situation in which students must examine their own learning. When students have to gather information and then reflect on the meaning of that information, they are put in a position of assuming responsibility for their actions. And, when students know their strengths and weaknesses, they are capable of making changes in their learning habits. The teacher is moved out of the role of sole informant. Children’s opinions and insights about their learning are equally important as the teacher’s comments.
Additionally, student-led conferences
• give children a voice and shared power.
• encourage a sense of ownership for learning,
• foster risk-taking,
• critical thinking and decision-making.
• build strong student-teacher-parent relationships,
• encourage organization,
• give students opportunity to experiment with oral discussion,
• and encourage children to take a role in problem-solving.
Here are some ways in which you can support your child in his/her conference:
• Express confidence in your child’s ability to participate in the conference: “I can see you are really organized and ready to begin.”
• Ask specific questions about your child’s work and learning: “What did you learn when you did this work? Do you think you need more practice in this?”
• Give positive feedback:
“I’m really proud of the work that you have shown me/us.”
“I can see that you are getting better at…”
“I can see that you tried really hard.”
“I can really see the growth in…”
“I didn’t know you could…”
• Help your child to formulate goals:
“What will you work on next?”
“What are you most proud of this year?”
“What has been hard or challenging for you?”
“How can I help you?”
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR CHILD:
This week, ask me…
to tell you about my academic choice project
about how we started our fractions unit of study
How I did on my word work assessment
How I have started organizing my work for the conference
About the play I saw Friday morning
How I felt about our science assessment
What we did with Philadelphia Young Playwrights!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Best, Anna and Diane