Well, a week holiday to begin October helped recharge the batteries as the first quarter comes to an end. Parent conferences are around the corner. It’s a quick process – 80 families in 10 minute slots. Here’s my weekly parent email that hopes to add some structure to the conference:
I hope that all families had a wonderful October break. It was nice to reconnect with students after the holiday and hear their stories. In my homeroom class, we went around the room to share out one word that described a person’s current mindset. Some of the words that captured the mood of the day and week in that (and the other) class(es) include:
It is hard to believe that a quarter of the year is finishing up this week. In science, I have been quite impressed by the development of students in the little bit of time we have shared so far. Deeper thinking is beginning to happen. Students are connecting evidence collected in labs and other activities to science concepts as they explain ideas. This week, we wrapped up ideas about photosynthesis though we will continue to check in with this important concept throughout the year.
Parent-Teacher Conferences – These will take place next Thursday and Friday. I hope you have already signed up. If not, please do so. Conferences are 10 minutes long and I hope to be as efficient as possible in those 10 minutes. As you schedule, please give time to move from class to class. My actual classroom is Room 2630, which is located beside the MPR on the second floor. During conferences, I will need your help to stay on time. Please help me respect end times. Thanks!
Goal of Conference: I want each student to have the most successful year possible and this takes work between myself, the student and you. As the first quarter ends, let’s celebrate the current science foundation that your student has and look for areas that need improvement.
Flow of Conference: The following general flow will guide us through the 10 minutes:
- Review of Student Reflection – Prior to conferences, students will complete a reflection based upon the past quarter. It is important to hear their voice regarding performance, successes and challenges. This will be a springboard for discussion. At the end of the conference, please take the reflection form with you so that you can also follow-up with your student.
- Areas of Improvement – What can be done both in and out of the classroom to help your student be successful? Please help me anticipate your questions and/or concerns by answering the items below via a return email.
- Follow-Up Plan (if needed)
- Please provide input regarding how your student feels about working in groups during class.
- Do you feel that your child is working in a safe environment that allows him/her to be successful? If not, what additional needs does your child require to be successful?
- What challenges does your child have in science?
- How can your child be best challenged in science?
Thanks so much for your thoughts. Ten minutes is a short time but I hope we can have a good conversation regarding the learning of your student.