Tools for Parent Conferences

Friday, October 11, 2013
Self-Reflection Tool

I wanted to give my students the opportunity to self-reflect about their learning before parent conferences, so I made up the form below to get an idea of their strengths and weaknesses.  I really am enjoying reading these and how detailed they are! Click on the pic below to be taken to the free download.

Interactive Notebooks and Parent Conferences

If you are using Interactive Notebooks in your classroom, they can serve as an AWESOME tool during parent/teacher conferences.  I have learned through experience though that the worst thing that I think could happen is to waste time flipping through a student's notebook, looking for a certain "discussion point".  I already like to have specific places earmarked in a students Interactive Notebook, so that I am not fiddling through looking for something!  The question is, how do I choose the page we turn to? It's simple.  I actually give my students 2 bookmarks to fill out during class before parent conferences.  These are reflection bookmarks that the students use to identify a piece of work that they are the MOST proud of and want to show off, and a piece that they would like to improve on.  Here is a sample picture that shows an example of what these bookmarks look like using my Interactive Writing Notebook-Informative/Explanatory Writing.  
If you would like to download these bookmarks to use in your class, click on the photos below!  I give students one of each bookmark. This way, they can choose something they would like to IMPROVE on AND their BEST piece of work.  
One reason I love using these bookmarks is it is totally student's choice!  This is a place you can go to look at their progress and the evidence is presented right there.  Once the students are done filling each out, they earmark the page like in the picture below.  (I wrote one up, this student's name is fictitious!)  On each day of conferences, I have the students that are up for the day, bring me their notebooks so I can pair them with the report cards and any other things I will be showing the parents.  That way, everything stays pretty organized!!! 
How do you get organized for parent conferences?

Halloween Freebies and Interactive Notebook!

Monday, October 7, 2013
I am excited to share a few October Halloween activities that I have used in my class.  Click on the image below to grab a copy of this freebie!

I am also excited to share my new Interactive Writing Notebook Unit that focuses on Halloween Opinion Writing.   This unit will take your students through writing a 5 paragraph essay that is Common Core aligned for grades 2-5.  This is a fun one!

 Students use magazines or their own drawings to share
some of their individual opinions about Halloween.
 These paragraph scaffolds guide students through writing 5 paragraphs.
 Below is a sample of how students arrange the pieces into 
their interactive notebooks.

 Below is a copy of the CCSS aligned criteria chart and 
rubric that can be used in grades 2-5.

Click on the link below to look at this product in further detail. Happy Halloween!

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