Parent conferences are just around the corner!
It’s that time of year! The trimester/quarter’s winding down. If you’ve had a week like mine, you need to dust off the papers to be graded from earlier in the week – yikes! Grades are lurking in the back of your mind. Pretty soon parents and family members will be knocking on the classroom door. What will you do to get ready?
Soon families will be in your classroom asking about their student’s abilities and progress. Some of us are in districts that have very dictated stipulations on what tests and assessments equate to specific grades on the report card. Here's an example of my schools' report card:
By all means, follow what is mandated by your district. However, if you’re in a district with a little more flexibility with on grading, you may want to take a look at creating your own comprehensive assessments and work portfolios:
I know that we’re in an age of testing, but creating a
comprehensive assessment will show what students know. This not only gives you invaluable data about what
students know, but it gives you huge insight into what they don’t
know. This allows you to talk
specifically with parents on strategies they can do at home to help their child succeed. It you’re in a
year-round school like mine, this information provides direction or focus for the materials included in our off-track work packets.
You know what your students know and it’s important to pass on that information to parents to demonstrate what their child knows. It’s more meaningful for parents to see actual work from their child. I always have samples of student work to show parents how they’ve progressed. Something as simple as a writing journal, DOL, math journal – something done daily – helps bring into perspective how students are doing in class. Is their journal is blank? Why is it? Are they using their time wisely? This type of documentation allows parents and families to see what kind of student their child is in the classroom.
I always have something available at my conferences for parents and families who have a child that needs more support. I leave out books or games for them to take so they can practice or play with their child at home. One game I use religiously to build sight words with primary students is the Super Speed 100 game created by Chris Biffle. You can see a detailed teaching guide and the game here. This game is a great way for parents to help their child with specifically targeted instruction for a particular gap their child may have. Another idea would be to have a list of websites available for students to use to practice specific skills. There’s a great sampling of activities here on Scholastic.com.
Do you have any ideas to share? I'd love to hear them!
Thanks for reading!