Fall Conferences


I do “Student Led Conferences.”

What this means is that, instead of the conference being a time for me to discuss the Progress Report with you, it is a time for your child to get to show you the things that we do in class and what s/he has learned, and then to demonstrate the skills we are working on.

The activities are different each year because they have to match what the class is working on... but, as a sample of the types of activities you will see... below is my agenda from Fall conferences last year.

We schedule more than one family at a time for Student Led conferences. Why? Because this allows your child to relax and enjoy the experience while remaining in charge. Your child will have been trained to lead the conference... but it is easier for 5 year olds to remember where things are and how things go when they can get a hint from someone else doing the activities at the same time. The kids help each other out at work times. This replicates that comfort zone.

(They are independent, but within their support group.) We try to schedule 3 or 4 families at a time because that is when things work best.

Most families finish in about 40 minutes... but I allow you an hour. Some families don’t have the chance to come into our classroom during regular school days. Allowing families an hour gives your child the freedom to show you some things that s/he is not required to show you IF you want to spend the extra time. For example, if students are only required to show you two of their journal pages... you will be welcome to stay and look through all of their journal, IF you want to.

It is crucial that you schedule your conference at a time when your child can come because it is your child’s conference.  Hopefully, we can schedule you at a time when BOTH parents can attend. If you have grandparents, or another special adult who is a regular part of your child’s life, it is especially nice when those people can attend, too.

Your child will have an entire student table to use for his/her conference. The criteria for deciding who should be present at your child’s conference is simple; invite anyone who regularly enjoys celebrating your child’s accomplishments  and who plays an important role in encouraging your child’s growth. It is not unusual for a child to have 4 to 6 people attend his/her conference. This decision is up to you and your child.

Many families ask me about inviting siblings. The decision is up to you and your child... HOWEVER... if you think that there is any chance that the sibling might distract, interrupt, blurt out an answer, step in and take over doing the activities for your child, or perhaps make a comment like “That’s so easy!” then you would need to spend some time preparing that sibling to be a good audience. At your child’s conference, it is crucial that your child is the star.  It is not a time to correct mistakes, or to teach... those things are all set aside for this conference. This is a time for your child to show you just how much s/he has improved, academically, over the first 9 weeks of school. Bring a camera. (Some parents even videotape segments to send to out of state family.) Your role is there to listen, be amazed, and to celebrate your child’s growth.

(Just an aside. This is a time to turn off your cell phones at the door. If you have something that can’t allow you to do that, then let’s find a time when you CAN... or, perhaps you can have someone videotape or take pictures to show you at a later date.

BTW, I do understand that there are exceptions to every rule. All I ask is that you make things as good as they can be for your child.)

If a last minute emergency comes up, or your child is ill on conference day – we’ll reschedule.  You can just call the office and let them know that something came up and that you need to reschedule.

Here’s how your SLC will work. When your child arrives, we will give your child a copy of the “SL Conference Agenda” and point out which table has been set up for your family.

Your child will escort you to the table and invite you to have a seat (everyone can see best when the child sits at one of the chairs towards the middle of the table) while he goes to get the first activity.

Just FYI: You received your child’s Progress Report BEFORE conferences. I will post a seperate page online explaining how to interpret progress reports... but you will get much more information about how your child is doing by attending the conference.

I hope that you enjoy your Student Led conference,