Thursday, December 27, 2012

Student-led Conferences Support Self-Reflective Learners

We held our middle school student-led conferences in December which meant lots of preparation during an already busy time of year.  Feeling crunched for time, I set out to create some new student forms that would guide my 6th graders through the self-reflection process.  The timing works out pretty well, since we all try to do some self-reflection at the start of a new year.  Although I used this in December, I think it would fit nicely for a New Years Reflection project during the first week back from holiday break.  I can think of a few resolutions I wish my students would make!!

 Using four forms that had a newspaper-style appearance, we created "Middle School Me" booklets using 11 x 17 paper.  The booklet then became a portfolio folder, in which we collected some work samples to be discussed at the meeting. Students looked forward to completing and coloring their booklet, and I certainly appreciated all the information being in one location come conference day.  Check it out!

In the past I would often dread the student-led conferences.  I always felt that it was a little awkward for 11-13 year olds to lead a discussion about their social and academic progress.  After this year, my opinion is starting to change.  Now I'm curious...What strategies are other schools using to make the student-led conference process more rewarding and meaningful for students, parents and teachers?

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