Have you been wanting to start student led conferences but you aren’t sure where to start? Once I started, it was a game changer! I immediately noticed a change in my students and parents levels of engagement in conferences. Check out my top 5 tips for successful student led conferences below.
Tip 1: Practice
Practice what students will do at every step of the conference. They are not used to leading a conference, or leading their grownups around. Therefore, it’s important to practice what they will do. The week leading up to the conference, I partner my students up with one another to practice. One student is the student, while they other is pretending to be the grown up. Then, they switch. This helps them be more confident in their conferences.
Tip 2: Get organized
Create a folder to keep everything organized. Having a folder or binder specifically for student led conferences will help your students show their grown up what they’ve been working on.
Tip 3: Communicate
Whether your school community has done them before or this is their first time, it is important to send home forms of communication. Make sure to send home a form saying what time and date their conference is. Also, send home a parent survey so parents can think about what goals for their child, what they are proud of, etc.
Tip 4: Create structure
We want students to take ownership over their conference but it is also important to help set them up for success! Create a lotus for students to walk through to know where to head next. If your conference involves students moving around the room, create a lotus for them to follow.
Tip 5: Reflect
Have students fill out self reflections. It’s important for students to reflect on their time in the classroom and think about what they do well and what they can work on. These reflections will help your students when it comes time for them to set goals.
If you’re looking to get started this year, grab these FREE Editable Student Led Conference Lotus Form and Parent Teacher Conference Forms. Get all of the resources you need to make Student Led Conferences easy to plan and stress free here!
While student led conferences might seem difficult at the beginning, I promise that they are worth it! There is no better sight than seeing your students take ownership over their learning and explain their work to their grown ups!
For more information on conferences, check out these blog posts:
Student Led Conferences In Primary Grades