Thursday, November 8, 2012

Parent Teacher Conferences - Top 5

My district does two rounds of Parent-Teacher Conferences on a Monday and Wednesday from 4:00-7:30pm. The first set of conference days are usually in mid-November and the second set come mid-February.

I truly look forward to parent-teacher conferences. With upwards of 120 students, I find that they are a great way to continue to build rapport with families. To me, I find that support from home makes a major difference in a child's success... not in every circumstance, but in many. Most of my conferences are with parents whose child has an A or a B, but there are definitely some that are coming because their child is struggling. Either way, it is a great chance to talk with them and provide some suggestions or answer their questions.

I always like to give parents all kinds of details, suggestions, etc. and over the years have created a small packet that I give every parent that I meet with. There's different material depending on if it is the November or February round, so here's my Top 5 for November Parent-Teacher Conferences.

1:: Cover sheet - What have we done so far in 1st Quarter? What are we going to do in 2nd Quarter? Details about ways students can get extra help. Ideas for studying specific to my class. Screenshots of my class website with key information highlighted.

2:: Grade sheet - Our grades are "live" and online, so parents/students are able to see grades as they are updated, but I also like to provide this cumulative sheet for reference.

3:: Article on How to Study Mathematics - If I have heard it once, I have heard it a thousand times from kids: "You can't study math." I beg to differ. Yes, you can... I did. So, I always follow-up with suggestions.

4:: Math Anxiety - Some students experience a great deal of math anxiety, so I find it helpful to provide information about overcoming it as well as strategies to use when experiencing it.

5:: Stress - Many of my students feel a lot of pressure relative to their grades. I use this opportunity to provide information about minimizing or coping with stress.

I would love to hear what you do for Parent-Teacher Conferences!!!.

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