Saturday, November 24, 2012

Parent-Teacher Conferences Made EASY! {FREEBIE included!}

So last year my mentor gave me a fantastic idea for parent-teacher conferences…let the kids lead them themselves! I know every district works differently, but in our district you meet with every single family at least twice a year during parent-teacher conferences. That’s a lot of talking for a teacher to do! (Like we don’t talk enough!) So I have my students compile portfolios which they then present to their parents during conferences. Here’s how it works in my classroom:

1)      The week before PTC I give each student a portfolio. We go through it page by page, talking about what kinds of things we can write on each page. (I give 2nd graders much more guidance than I gave 5th graders, doing one page at a time, altogether.)
2)      I show students our “Portfolio Bin,” a standard plastic crate with hanging folders in which they will store all of their portfolio materials.
3)      I have students go through their work from the term and add any specials projects, papers, or tests to their portfolio folder that they would like to share with their families. On occasion, I also require they share certain papers.
4)      On Friday before PTC week, by which time they should have their portfolios all put together, I have them pair up and practice their portfolio presentations, just like they’ll do them for their families.
5)      During PTC, I require parents to bring their child with them. When they come in my room, I welcome them then say something like, “I don’t know if Jane told you, but she’s in charge of her conference. She is going to do a presentation for you, then I’ll join you and we’ll chat a little more. Jane, where would you like your parents to sit?” I usually give the family their space for the first 10 minutes or so, keeping my ear on what’s going on in case the student needs any help. I think they appreciate the quiet, private moment with their children. I join them at the end, or part way through, to address any questions or concerns. Usually, the presentations have answered most parents’ questions because the students’ work speaks for itself! (Also, each kid knows to go straight to the portfolio bin and get out their folder when they get there.)
Bonus: An additional element I included this year with my 2nd graders was the “My Goals for ThisYear” sheet from Stephanie over in 3rd Grade Thoughts. Stephanie’s form is awesome and FREE, and you can create your own for older kiddos. The parents loved this form.
Doing a year-long portfolio is just too much for me to handle, so I love doing these portfolios each term. It’s a great way for the students to reflect on what they’ve learned and for the parents to have a little keepsake of their child’s year. You can get your FREE portfolio templates from my TpT store {here.} I’ve included an example from both 2nd and 5th grades. Feel free to personalize them and change them up as much as you need to.

Happy Conferencing!


Rachelle said...

LOVE the Daily 5 sheet!!!!! Thank you!

Heidi Harrell said...

Love your daily five sheets and I love your cute and colorful blog! I am your newest follower!

Love, Heidi

Underpaid and Overblessed said...

Thanks y'all! I appreciate you stopping by! :)


back to top