Student Reflections Before Conferences

Hey, it’s been a minute and I’m back to blog writing. Feels good to get back to writing amid the turmoil that’s happening on the bird app. So here we go!

We’re in the middle of November which marks about a third of the school year. Parent/teacher conferences are right around the corner and Thanksgiving Break is looking appetizing right now. I actually look forward to conferences as I get to connect with parents and discuss progress that’s been made and areas where improvement is warranted. Having conversations with parents bring awareness and is helpful, but seeing changes in the classroom takes a supportive team and includes everyone – including the student. One of the better ways that I’ve observed in helping students become aware of areas that need improvement is through self-reflection. I find students react better and take actions when they make their own conclusions/connections comparing their performance to a criteria.

With that in mind I had students think about the math units that we’ve explored by reviewing unit assessments, notes, journal pages and Canvas submissions. They reflected on their progress and made a determination.

The goal is on the left and students picked one of the three categories. It was up to the student to decide on a category. Students also had to complete some error analysis to come of a conclusion whether a mistake made on a quiz or test was something simple or a deeper issue. I was pleasantly surprised to see that most students were taking a decent chuck of time to make a decision on the category.

The reflection sheet continued with goals related to study habits. The criteria changes for this section to improvement vs being satisfied.

Homework completion has been an issue this year so that was part of the sheet this time around. I also wanted to encourage students to compare their efforts and results – hoping that the connection between the two become more apparent. Students again spent time analyzing their performance and filled out the boxes accordingly. It took students around 10-20 minutes to complete each sheet.

I collected the completed sheets from students in grades 3-5 and also communicated again that they’ll be used during parent/teacher conferences. I had one set of conferences about a week ago and another set will be coming up soon. My plan is to revisit the reflection sheet during the second trimester and have students look at the growth over time.

Author: Matt Coaty

I've taught elementary students for the past 14 years. I enjoy reading educational research and learning from my PLN. Words on this blog are my own.

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