Student-led Conferences are one of my favorite ways for my students to take ownership over their learning and progress in the classroom. Student-led conferences are a game-changer. Now more than ever, they are an important part of the educational experience for students with social distancing in place. You can still hold student led conferences this year no matter what your situation is – virtual or in-person.
Virtual student led conferences still use all of the same components as traditional, in-person student led conferences.
You can successfully hold Student-led Conferences in Parent Teacher Conferences by using Individualized “portfolio style presentations called the Book creator for each unit/term.
Now, inside their portfolios is where the real magic happens! The learners reflect their learning, thus, Proving themselves as leaders of their own learning.
The Book Creator
There are three essential steps that make Student-led Conferences low prep, stress-free, and a
As meaningful as possible for kids.
Now, before you get any more anxious, please know that Student-led conferences can be much simpler and more rewarding than you might think! In fact, they require much more work on the students’ part than the teacher’s part, and are far more authentic and memorable than a traditional conference for both students and their families.
Suggested list of questions for parents/teachers to ask the child during the conference.
- What would you like to learn more about?
- What are you most proud of?
- Did you reach your target? Why or why not?
- It makes me proud to see that…..
- I can tell that you improved in…
Three essential keys to a successful and meaningful Student-led Conference:
1. Self-Evaluation: Students’ opinions and assessments of their own progress and learning are extremely powerful and telling, especially as they reach an age where they can show honesty, reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, and put their “self-smarts” to the test.
2.Work samples: Work samples are often the students’ favorite part of conferences. Students are guided to select their best work from their Math, English, Art, Thematic concepts and videos of their Music and dance as well, throughout the term that demonstrate pride, improvement, creativity, and perseverance. Learners also upload videos of their music and Zumba sessions and the teacher chooses their best work and adds them to their Book creator/their portfolio in accordance to their unit/term.
3. Shared goals: Goal-setting, especially shared goal-setting, is critical for student growth. Kids need to know exactly where they’re at their learning process and have a finish line in mind. When the teacher and parents are involved in that process, it is far more powerful. Each child’s learning journey is unique, and their strengths, weaknesses and goals are no different.
BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL STUDENT LED CONFERENCES (BEYOND 2020)
- There are usually some families who are unable to attend conferences. You can still include all families with the virtual model.
- You save a lot of paper. No more printing and handwriting forms!
- Digital portfolios are easy to manage and you can have students work on them at any point in the school year.
- If you’re a 1:1 school or adding more techs into your teaching, this is an excellent way to teach students life skills through building their digital portfolio and conducting their presentation (conference).
By-Nerupama Fernandes (RBKIS)