Don't get me wrong...The parents are great. They work with me, as I do them, and we almost always come to a consensus as to how to help their child succeed. But the sheer number of conferences is just overwhelming sometimes. And the thought of thinking of things to say to that are on point and helpful also falls into that overwhelming category.
So I thought I would link up with Tammy at Teaching FSL and tell you about a few things I did to make conferences a little less daunting (notice I said a little, because, let's face it...they are daunting regardless)
|Click here to take you to the form.|
I found that this also gave me a jumping off point for the conferences. In the past, I had always just started with the report card. Then, if there were some undesirable grades, I had to work my way backwards from the shock. Using this form, I was able to brace everyone for what was to come. Since I had already told the parents what the student needed to work on, when the grade was actually revealed at the end, they were contented with it. It really wasn't anything out of the ballpark for them anymore. Make sure you head over and pick up the form!
Another thing I did this year was give the parents a packet of the released test questions from our state test. The packets were put together by my school and I found that they were particularly helpful in showing the parents just what those standards the kids needed to work on were. For example, if I said that decimals were a particular challenge, I showed the parents how to find the decimal standards and then the corresponding questions. By explicitly showing them this, it made it more real and doable for them to help at home...instead of just saying "Work on decimals."
Here is a link to ALL of the states and their corresponding education websites. Most states have released questions.
OK...so what do you do??? I would love to hear how you make conferences run smoothly for you. I am always on the look out for a better way!