We all know that when students take ownership of their learning, they are more likely to put forth more effort in their daily performance. You can read more about having your students set and track their own goals in this blog post.
I have used student-led conferences in a few different ways, depending on the age and ability of the students I am working with. With one group, I had the students prepare the material to be presented in the conference, but the parents came alone. With another group, I had the students prepare the materials and actually lead the conversation on the evening of the conference.
Another way I have heard about but have not personally used, was to invite parents to come in all at once and have the students lead their own conferences at the same time. This one seems more like an open house and I like the idea of meeting with families individually much better.
Whatever way you decide to try student led conferences, here are some of the reasons why you will LOVE student led conferences:
Students Get Excited
Students love showing off their work. When they know that their parents will be viewing a writing piece or a project, they usually will put forth more effort. You will be so surprised by the quality of work your kids will put out!
Parents Get Excited
Parents get so excited to learn about their child's goals, accomplishments, and how they see themselves in the classroom. One of their favorite things to look over is the student self-reflection sheet I have the kids complete a few days before their conference. I love using the self-reflection sheet to help students develop goals and then I give them the same sheet to fill out again again at the end of the school year.
Less Work For You
The more your students put into their conference, the less work you have to do! You can have your students do everything leading up the conference, such as creating invitations and reminders. They can put together all of their best work. And, if you choose, your students can actually lead the conversation if they are present!
When I have the students lead the conversation, I give them an agenda to keep them on track. We go over how the conference should go in class before the day of the conference.
If you would like to try student led conferences in your classroom, I highly recommend them!
Need a little help to get you started? I have created an All-In-One-Kit that makes starting student led conferences easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Until next time...