10/20/12

Parent Conferences

Happy Saturday!

I am very refreshed.  I slept A LOT last night.  I won't post the number of hours in fear that you may unfollow me.  Or think less of me.  Or, heaven forbid, think I'm lazy.  

Just for the record, I am lazy.  But only on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, summer vacations, hooky days, evenings, mornings, and around lunch time.  That's all.

This coming week is Parent Conference Week.

Glory Be.

I love it.

I told you last year that we get half days on Parent Conference Week.  HALF DAYS.  

We even squeeze in a 15 minute recess and a 30 minute lunch even though the kids go home at 12:30.  I know!!!!  It's the best.  We're having a review week because there is time for little else after the recess and lunch times, super long read aloud, a song or two, and maybe a funny story.

I have crammed my conferences into 3 days.  On purpose.

My first one on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning begins at 7:20am and the last one ends at about 5:30pm.  

Typical day, in my opinion.

So Thursday and Friday, after my kids go home at 12:30, I am going to prep and organize and nap and polish my fingernails.

Anywho, as far as the Parent Conferences go, I conduct my sessions the way a friend (my North Carolina friend) taught me to.

I do not go over the report card, as I used to.

Nope.  I stopped that after I switched schools and the parents no longer said, "Si, Maestra" to whatever it was I think I told them in my choppy Spanish.

The parents at my current school might (maybe, I don't know, I haven't given them a chance to find out) argue about a report card grade.    So I can't show them the report card.  

I just can't.

Instead, I type up notes that pretty much follow the report card.  I go in order of the report card, and show all the data I have, but they never actually see the report card.

They see this:

This is an example.
This student does NOT exist.
And I forgot to add PE because you know I do it every day.
For the required minutes.
I can't believe I forgot it.

After I've gone through all my notes on the page, and showed my data, and all that fun stuff, it's been about 25 minutes and I've gone over my time limit.  As always.

So then I stand up, grab the report card that has been hiding at the bottom of the file folder, hand it over, and say, "Thanks so much for coming!  The report card reflects everything we just talked about."  Meanwhile, I'm walking.  Pretty quickly.  And I may or may not have my hand on their back.  

Then I swing open the door and greet the next parent.

I have neverevereverever had a parent come back to me about a report card grade.

I love it.

You can grab the editable template {HERE}.

And just in case you're wondering about the Sight Words List and Math Fluency Levels, you can check out these programs by clicking on the red links.  :)

I had a couple of questions about the font on my previous post.  It's also the font I used in my example above.

It's from Fonts 4 Teachers.  It's called ABC Teacher.  I also enjoy the ABC Print font.  It's a toss up as to which one is my all time favorite.  I don't like the exclamation point on ABC Teacher and since I'm usually yelling, screaming, or super excited about stuff, this can be a problem.

You can check it out {HERE}.  I have heard a couple of people talk about problems with the downloading . . . I don't know.  I bought mine at a teacher supply store a hundred years ago and it works fine.  So I can't speak for the downloading.

It took a long time to get my Parent Conference notes organized.  Let me tell you - it is not fun.  But it is totally worth it.  I am prepared, look professional, and no one is the wiser that I have no clue what I'm doing and I'm most likely thinking about food during our session time together.

Do you do something similar?  Or do you go over the report card?

I finished up all my notes on Thursday night.

That makes me pretty free today . . . it's a weird feeling.

So . . . lazy day, here I come.  :)

21 comments:

  1. We have conferences this week too. It's only on one day and after school. Only a few parents come and it's usually the ones that I don't need to talk to. Do all your parents attend conferences? I kinda do the same thing as you. I use a checklist but I don't go over the report card. I will probably go over their standardized test results from the beginning of the year. We only allow 15 minutes per conference so it goes by pretty fast.

    Swimming into Second

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  2. Your post gave me a laugh, but I am soooo with you on this. My note sheet isn't as pretty as yours - thanks for sharing....

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  3. You're hilarious!! I always think about food!

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  4. I do something very similar. I think it helps put things into perspective for a parent. It really communicates things in a way they understand. Sometimes the report card is too "teacher talk". Love it!

    Amy
    mellosmemos@gmail.com

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  5. Painting your nails is always the best way to unwind after a long week! Unless you are really impatient and then smudge your nails and then you have to start over again, and then you become even more impatient and mess more up and then give up and have messy unfinished nails. Then it's not relaxing. Hopefully that doesn't happen to you. Hope you have a very relaxing nail polish session!

    Have a wonderful week of parent teacher conferences! I love your trick. Gonna have to try that one! Thanks for sharing the freebie!

    Pixy Stix and Teacher Tricks

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  6. We just finished up conferences! We have them Wed.from 430-830(after having kiddos all day) and Thurs from 11-8. Then we get Friday OFF!!! LOVE IT!!! We do a "report card at a glance" since our kiddos only get grades in three areas. Our conferences are 20 min. each and they go nice and fast!
    Lisen:)

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  7. Food and being lazy...I knew we had a heart connection!

    I love all of your DJ Inkers creations. =)

    Heather
    Heather's Heart

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  8. I gather our writing journals, book bags, and math notebooks before conferences and have them ready to share! Before I came to this school, most of kindergarten curriculum was workbook only. (SO. I post LOTS of pictures on our class blog, showing station work and hands-on learning. Hopefully, they look at the blog and have a 9 week preview of what is happening in my class!) I talk to the parents about reading strategies and how to grow a reader. I give them a list of characteristics for 5-and 6-year-olds.

    They receive the report card a few days before conference week. We have one day "off" to do conferences, but are encouraged to offer before-and-after-school slots during the entire week. :-| I learned the hard way that this is exhausting, even with a small class. Now, I choose two mornings for early, one for late, and the "off" day. Take it or leave it. And I use a timer--20 minutes. Again, I learned through experience that, if given the opportunity, most parents will stay for 45 minutes to discuss their child. :-)

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  9. You crack me up. My district just got rid of the comments section so I can use this cute template to add the reading level, areas to work on, etc. Thanks!
    Jenn
    Finally in First

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  10. We have conferences from 8:00AM-8:00PM this Thursday and 8-noon on Friday. It's brutal but it's all done in a day and a half. I'm just thankful I don't teach AM and PM kindergarten as they have to do twice as many conferences in the same amount of time. We don't give out report cards since they don't go home unit December. We've been in school only 37 days by conferences so we scarcely know our kids but it is what it is. One year I got a whole new class a week before conferences and I somehow pulled it off. It's crazy!

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  11. Love the notes!!! I start parent conferences next week too. Unfortunately, our state dumb***, I mean state superintendent decided that our students cannot have half days anymore so we have to squeeze all our conferences into a regular school day. That leaves me from 2:00 - 2:30 four days a week. Well, with 21 students, I would have to do 5 minute conferences. Anyways, I am going to spread them out over 2 weeks, having some before school, some during my plan time, and some after the regular school day. The next two weeks will be L---O---N---G!!!!!

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  12. We have to see all of our parents... 100%! If they don't come in and we have tried several times to reschedule....don't you hate it when parents don't show up or call to say they aren't coming? ...then we can have a phone conference.
    I like your note plan. I try to do something similar because we also give them the report card at the time of the conference. Ours are anytime before Dec. 5th. We can schedule them whenever. We are given the day before Thanksgiving off as a compensation for the hours we put in. If we all schedule the night ones on the same day, our PTO moms will provide a homemade dinner for us. I am ready to call several parents in right now. I will be grabbing your note above. It's a beauty!
    Patty Rutenbar
    2ndinline.blogspot.com

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  13. We have a Teacher Workday to prepare for our report cards and conferences and then a day off for the actual conferences in the Fall. (We just send home report cards the rest if the year.) Some years most of the parents will come, others they just don't bother and we send them home the next day. Thanks for the cute form for notes- love it!

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  14. Thanks for the form! We have a day off in November (the week of Thanksgiving), after American Education week,for conferences. In my county, first grade doesn't send home a report card the first quarter. We have a mandatory conference. For quarters 2-4 we send home a report card, conference only if they want it. I think its great you give them this form first, then hand them the report as they leave.

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  15. We have half days for parent conferences, too! Except our kids get out at 11:20 (Yeah!) I too like to fit them into a couple days of the week. Ours aren't until after Thanksgiving, though. It's assessment time now!

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  16. I hate conferences! (If I didn't have to cram 36 conferences into 2 days I might begin to like them.) But I do use a form like you do and that makes feel far more focused. Thanks for always making me laugh.

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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  17. Last year we got rid of Goal Setting and went to conference with a report card and I don't like it! I also hide the RC til the end and slide it in ever so smoothly. I always run late even though I give myself 30 minutes rather than the 20 my district says I'm suppose to do. Yeah right!

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  18. Good thinking about the report card. I do a student-led conference, so the student (these are bigger than yours) takes the parent through the room, shows them their notebooks and work, and all of that stuff. By then the parent is often thinking, "Hmmmm. This work looks pretty crummy. I wonder if this will show up on the report card."

    Yes, it will.

    Most parents are expecting the grades the kids get. Especially because I constantly send home notes and graded assignments with special little messages when they don't do well. But I always dread report card night because I just (honestly) really don't want to hear it.

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  19. We are supposed to say it all in 15 minutes....we have 2 days (afternoons only). Just doesn't happen that way. Our report cards are standard based things with 1,2,3,4. No one can get a 3 this early in the year...so everyone is a 2 or a 1. Mostly 1 my Kindergarten team seems to think. So will never get a 4...there are only 26 letters in the alphabet, so how can you be above grade level and know more than 26?

    I am looking for a better way to explain things to parents...your idea looks like a good place to start. THANKS!!

    Terri Izatt
    KinderKapers

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  20. I really like your form too! We are in 15 minute blocks, but we do zero assessments, so last year I had a really hard time filling the 15 minutes, which I know sounds crazy!!

    Thanks. :)

    Marvelous Multiagers!

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  21. Study is always an important tool of success, students are responsibility of teachers as well as parents. Parents have to check their chils's progress on daily basis, also their are some children who can't be able to get good education, in order to help them for getting quality education, sponsor a child.

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