Wasn’t Dean’s session awesome ? Student-led conferencing is such an amazing way to help students become more independent learners! We know that you all are doing amazing things in your own classrooms to give students ownership over their learning and would love to hear them! Simply hit the reply button below to share:
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We call them student exhibition nights, and have 4 every year. Just this past Wednesday was the first one for the 2018-2019 school year.
Much like Dean says, students are super nervous, but the ownership and the sense of accomplishment once they have the first one under their belt is such a boost for their self-confidence.
A couple of years back I wrote about it if you’d like to also take a look: Student exhibition night, an integral part of PBL.
I try to give my students a variety of ways to work with the content (interactive apps and quizzes, videos, notes, conversations, gamification, student suggestions) and show understanding (verbal, visual, show your work, projects, traditional assessments, more). @goformative has been crucial to my growth in this area.
Couple other take aways from the session
We just had our Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences. I teach high school.and we have only one session like this per semester. I have students do a portfolio review about pieces of work they were proud of and ones they didn’t feel so great about … not necessarily a grade which is a change in mindset for some students … learning still tied to grades for most … interesting looks on faces when you challenge students on what they learned … a 10/10 on something might not be something you really learned from … our students and parents can check summative assessments 24/7 and still many this is the focus … I send out reminds and emails to parents … but really found the idea to get the parents to send what they want to discuss in advance something I will try next round … I know that some elementary teachers use seesaw to create portfolios and I hope to try this or maybe flipgrid to record student learning … showing parents Formative and the work we do to help students understand and work through content and the feedback and data given has gone over very well … great session
We have begun to give students more ownership in my 5th grade classroom. Students have their objectives and standards for each subject area, where after conferenceing, students mark where they are for each standard (using SBR). Students are also writing their own goals for each area which are then student-shared at conferences. My students are always given choices of what to work on, where each program or choice works on a specific skills, this is where students take the ownership of their learning to choose which they need or want to work on.
At the end of the webinar, Dean mentioned having students come into the IEP meetings. I have a Google Slides template that students complete for their 5th grade transition meetings. During these meetings the students are presenting and discussing their presentation. This gives the other teams members from the different schools an awareness of who each individual student is, based on what they provided and spoke about. I find it to be a better quality than me simply talking about each student.
I just got a chance to read your article and am so impressed by what you all are doing! I love the focus on celebrating the process of learning and that the product is secondary. It appears that this aligns really well with the PBL approach you all are taking. I also love how you give the older students an opportunity to mentor the younger student. Since the paths that students take with the content changes over the years, I bet this provides both parties with the opportunity to learn from what’s been done! I am not sure if I said this before but I love your blog and I think you are a really great writer!
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Dean! Yeah, I imagine it’s difficult for parents and students to separate the learning from the grades when the grades can have such a huge impact on their future. In one of our upcoming sessions, the idea of emphasizing learning over grades is definitely explored more so I hope you can stay tuned for that one
I loved hearing this idea from Dean’s webinar as well! I am glad you plan on applying it
Woot woot! When you personalize learning for students, it allows students to better understand themselves as learners and become more independent!
Love this! What a fantastic way to increase engagement which leads to more ownership in their education! Getting "buy-in’ from everyone is always a challenge and this is a great way to encourage it to happen!
We found that when we asked parents what they wanted to discuss, they were so much more engaged and felt like they were part of the process. They were surprised and pleased that we asked them. I appreciate how you give your students multiple ways to learn and, more importantly, SHARE what they learned! Thanks for sharing what you do and your take-aways from the session!
Well done! Building that ownership within the entire process of their learning is a huge short term and long term win! Encourage your students to make a plan along with their goals. This is really challenging for them to articulate at first, but over time, they understand it and follow the plan. Thank you for sharing and watching my session!
We don’t have one-on-one parent/student/teacher conference days at our high school, but I’ve been brainstorming ways to get students more involved in their learning. This past week I introduced our Linear Equations Unit. I started with a real-world graph and asked students to tell me everything they knew by looking at the graph. I just wrote everything down & asked questions along the way. Then I asked students to generate a list of questions that could be answered from the graph. Once they generated 6 questions, I had them answer their own questions for six new real-world graphs around the room. Kids seemed more engaged than if I had simply given them questions to answer.
One thing I am considering now is to create a Class Parking Lot space in the room where students can pose questions/problems they would like discussed/answered… and build in 10-15 minutes into my lesson plans so students can answer each other’s questions. If anyone has any advice or suggestions for making this successful in a Freshman Algebra 1 class, please share.
I have definitely heard of student lead conferences and my own children have done them and I love them as they prepare what they will present.
As an online teacher I am curious to explore how this would work in our online environment. The graphic organizer that Dean has posted will definitely be useful as I can have my students complete it and then share with their learning coach (parents) digitally.
Your idea of asking the students to generate the questions is spot on! Engagement with the right rigor will always produce amazing results! It also builds long term collaboration and problem solving skills needed for the work force.Good job!
Have you considered doing the “Parking Lot” in a digital format? Some sort of discussion board typically engages students more. Backchannel Chat or even using a social media outlet could work. Believe it or not, Snapchat would even work for your age of students.
Good job of getting your students to reflect! Consider also asking “Why did I do well or improve?” My students take an online Reading Assessment each month to check their Lexile level. I always ask them both, why did they improve or why did they go down? If they have strategies and reflect on what worked, then they know to continue to do that. I agree that students are very honest! Also consider having them make a specific plan to reach their goals. This part is very hard and takes time to refine. Love that you get them to really take ownership in their education!
Could you do a video conference with you, the parent and the student? Or you could even have them video record or just vocally record their strengths/challenges/goals and then you and the parent could listen on your own time and provide feedback. It isn’t as dynamic and immediate, but it is real world realities that happen in today and tomorrow’s work force.
Adding onto @ddeaver 's idea, this sounds like it might be interesting to try with Formative too. Maybe they could park a question at the end of a formative and then you could discuss them as a class if you have time within class.
One thing I have used in my classroom is a Socratic seminar where the students create questions and then ask each other questions about a passage they have read that has controversial topics and they are required to come up with at least three questions and they have to respond to at least three other students questions to get credit.