Monday, October 14, 2019

Parent Teacher Conferences

It's hard to believe that it's mid-October and we are thinking about conferences!  We have just one parent/teacher conference time per year and it's in early November.  We obviously meet with parents on an as-needed basis again in the early spring.  Our conferences are spread over three days (two evenings and one full day).  We like to give parents lots of options!  How many times to you have conferences?  Today's post is all about what I do to prepare for the big event!  I hope you find this post beneficial.

The first thing I do to prep is send home a sign up sheet for conferences.  This is created by our school.  Once parents send that sheet back, I create my schedule using the pink sheet shown below.  I then send home confirmation reminders (orange and green sheets).  I typically do this about two weeks prior to conferences.  I like to send these home on bright paper so they stand out and don't get lost! 

A few weeks prior to conferences, I begin thinking about talking points for each child in various areas.  I fill out one of the yellow pages below for each child.  I keep this in front of me during their conference and share my thoughts/observations with parents.  This helps keep my brain organized and helps ensure I remember everything I want to say.  This document can be printed two-sided.  The back has behavior, science, social studies, and "other" boxes.  This document is for me and I do not send it home with families.

The week of conferences I have my students complete a self-reflection.  This is a great tool to use as your opener for conferences.  My kids are always honest on these.  Like adults, kids know what they need to work on and what they are doing well with.  The parents always love seeing these. 

I copy a glow/grow sheet for each child.  Remember the talking points sheet I mentioned above?  I take three strengths from that and place one in each of the "glow" boxes here.  I also write one "grow."  The grow is something I'd like the child to work on in the next quarter.  These sheets go home with families, so they can remember what we discussed.

As parents arrive, they sign in.  I leave this sheet in the hallway.  I also post the pink sign on  my door.  No one likes to be interrupted during conferences!

Parents are always asking about what they can do at home; these number, spelling, and website/app pages are good resources to give out at the end of conferences.

Kids love hearing all the things they are doing well!  I ask parents to write a note to their child detailing what good things they heard during conferences.  I keep these and we read them as a class once conferences have all been held.

Teachers are always in need of donations!  Placing this giving tree sign and apple cutouts outside your classroom door with the provided sign-up sheet allows parents the opportunity to donate supplies to your room.  These are usually items we don't ask for at the beginning of the year; many are purchased with our own money.

Sometimes the kids come with their parents to conferences and sometimes they don't.  I like to be prepared for them coming (along with siblings) so I place coloring sheets and crayons in the hallway.  I also place a basket of books out there.  Usually if a child comes, I have them sit in for the majority of the conference.  If we have something difficult or uncomfortable to discuss, I'll have the child sit in the hall and color while the adults finish our conversation.

I have the kids write their names and color the page shown below prior to their conference.  They leave it on their desk for their families to see.  The families always love looking inside the desks! 

As a thank-you for coming, I will pass out a snack.  I usually do popcorn and use the tags shown below. 

If you'd like to purchase my best-selling conference pack, simply click the cover below.  Have a great conference season!!



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