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In preparing for parent/teacher conferences, what can be done a daily basis?  Is the conference based on simply talking about grades or are there additional items that need discussing?  How can an observation be specific without offending the parent or guardian?  Is it possible to remember everything?

My student teachers were required to keep a clipboard on which were taped five 6” x 8” file cards so they overlapped - something like you see in the two pictures above.  Each week, they were to evaluate five students, writing at least two observations for each child on the cards.  At the end of the week, the cards were removed, and placed into the children's folders.  The next week, four different students were chosen to be evaluated.  In this way, the student teacher did not feel overwhelmed, and had time to really concentrate on a small group of children.  By the end of 4-5 weeks, each child in the class had been observed at least twice.  By the end of the year, every child had been observed at least eight different times.

Below are sample observations which might appear on the cards.

Student

Date

Observation

IEP

ESL

Mary Kay
2/18

2/ 20
Likes to work alone; shy and withdrawn; wears a great deal of make-up.

She has a good self concept and is friendly.  Her preferred learning style is visual based on the modality survey.


X


Donald
2/19

2/21
Leader, at times domineering, likes to play games where money is involved.

His preferred learning style is auditory (from the modality survey).  He can be a “bully,” especially in competitive games.  He tends to use aggressive language with those who are not considered athletic.




Checklist for Parent/Teacher Conferences
By the time the first parent/teacher conferences rolled around, the student teacher had at least two observations for each child.  This allowed them to share specific things (besides grades) with the parents/guardians.  As the year progressed, more observations were added; so, that a parent/guardian as well as the student teacher could readily see progress in not only grades, but in behavior and social skills.  The cards were also an easy reference for filling out the paperwork for a 504 plan or an IEP (Individual Education Plan).  As a result of utilizing the cards, the student teachers learned pertinent and important facts related to the whole child which in turn created an effective and relevant parent/teacher conference.
Are you a parent or a teacher?  Do you need some tips for parent/teacher conferences?  Check out one of my best selling products on Teachers Pay Teachers entitled: Checklists for P/T Conferences Based on Characteristics, NOT Grades! Just click on the link below the cover page!