Student led conference preparation

This post was cross-posted from my personal blog.

I started writing this post a year ago and for some reason, I never published it. I guess it’s good to go back and reflect – and add to what was …

There’s been much hype about these conferences (or are they three way interviews? I forget!) We have had our Teacher Coach  (@jocpyp) share her thoughts in preparing our staff and she kindly shared her Power Point with some really helpful questions for parents to ask their children during the conference.

Parent questions

I’ve read blog posts, among them some by Sam Sherratt and Hailey Joubert  and one shared by Jocelyn; and I’ve done these with kids before. Successfully. And where students have spoken confidently, using their examples of their learning as evidence.

Today, my class and I discussed the process. No one mentioned having done them before. I brought up our learning principles and we threw ideas around about how our learning connects to these.This isn’t new to the children and links were readily made.Children spoke about using the PYP attitudes and they dived into their thinking.

So many of them focussed on the product. They wanted to create a presentation for their parents. No matter what questions I asked, the were determined to create the presentation. So, I stood back and “allowed them to play the game”.

I am really thankful that I began this preparation with them well in advance.I am hoping that they will get to understand that a presentation has a purpose. Is this meeting with their parents the time for that or is it the time for conversation, using pieces of learning as evidence, when required, to share the insights about themselves as learners, their progress at school and their thoughts about how they shall be moving forward?

I guess that we are all about to find out …

The night was great! I loved listening to the children. Very few needed me to ask questions to help guide the conversation.

Two fathers (coincidentally both university professors) quizzed me after their child’s session. “How did you get my son to think like that?” one probed.

The other said, “I have been trying all year to get uni students to reflect. My ten-year old son has just done everything I am trying to achieve with those adults. HOW ?”

I guess the conversations in class paid off!

About Jina Belnick

I am a full time learner - tumbling head first into education and joining my learners on the amazing adventures that we encounter daily at our PYP school in Melbourne, Australia.I am currently working in learning support, feeling the waters and seeing how teachers and learners are best supported. I am a listener and a leader, an inquirer and a follower. I'm loving the ride!
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