I love doing student led conferences. this is my 3rd year doing them. For the past 2 years, my students have had a Power Point to present. They are much more relaxing and really open a dialogue between the students, teacher, and parents. I feel like they do most of the talking and it takes some of the pressure off me!
The week before conferences, I start off by having the children rank their academic and life skills.
5- Excellent, This is my best work
3- So-so/ Could do better
2- Need to improve
1- This is a challenge in my life
I ususally give them some guidance, such as if you have this grade, rank it as ..., if you have turned in no late work, then you can give yourself a 5. I tell them that it is ok to not have all 5's. We want to have room to grow!
Then they identify 2 life skill and 2 academic strengths and 2 life skill and 2 academic challenges. Then we turn each of these into a goal that is measureable and make a plan.
Then the students take this Power Point and turn it into thier own by adding their life and academic strengths and challenges. Then they make a plan or goals. The students will click through this asking their parents and I what they think about each slide. They love designing the Power Points, but I always tell them the words are the most important part!
Fill in the Blank Power Point
I also send home a sheet with the parents for them to bring to conferences, so they are ready when their child asks them questions.
Parent Goal Sheet
After the student has given their presentation, I ask the parents if they have any other questions or concerns. I also show them the students test scores.
I only had 2 students out of 20 not show up for their conference! I feel like I get a much better turn out when I do student led, because the children are excited to show their parents their Power Point!
In our district, we are only required to have fall conferences. However, when I was student teaching, the spring conference was a portfolio conference that was student led. It was sort of set up the same way with goals, but they also showed off their work.