Where our future is anchored in learning!
Notes from the Captain
Parent Conferences are right around the corner. The window for holding a parent conference will be October 3-November 18. Parent conferences may be held before, during or after school.
As you are preparing for parent conferences, here are some important tips to keep in mind.
1. Sit beside the parents and not across your desk from them. Welcome them and thank them for coming.
2. Open with a positive statement about their child. For example, “I enjoy having Johnny in my class.” Or perhaps, “Suzie is such a hard worker.”
3. Take time to listen to parents.
4. Let parents know that you care about their child, especially if the child is struggling.
Let them know what you plan to do to help.
5. SMILE! The power of a smile is incredible! Research has shown how powerful a smile is time and time again.
6. Don’t get defensive about parent questions. Listen and answer… maybe they just need more information to understand the situation.
7. Avoid using the phrases: “I don’t know” or
”I can’t…” Instead say: “Let me see what I can do about that.”
8. Focus on positives with the parents. Every child is good at something.
9. Realize the purpose of a conference is to share information and ideas, not necessarily to solve a problem right then and there.
10. Use clear and descriptive terms. Adjust conference to the parents' needs and \ levels of understanding. If you must use a buzzword, get in the habit of using parenthetical definitions: "This year we will use math manipulatives, which are objects, like this set of snap cubes, that let kids touch and experience how to do the action of math and what is meant by mathematical symbols."
11. Give parents something to take home with them. They can review material more completely and refer back to it during the year.
12. End on a positive note.
Lessons Plans are due each week on Fridays by 5:00 pm
Diving Deep Recognition
Tips from the First Mate
After giving the facts of the incident/behavior, let the parent know how you’re taking care of the problem at school. Include what rule(s) the student broke and how he or she will be held accountable. Assure them that you’re doing your part to help turn the behavior around.
Note: Sending a classroom management packet home during the first week of school is an effective hedge against parents being surprised or angered during this step.
Your conversation with parents should last no more than five minutes. As soon as you finish explaining how you’re handling the misbehavior, say, “Thanks for your support. Call me or come see me if you have any questions.” Then hang up the phone or lead the parent to the classroom door.
Talk To Parents with Confidence
When you follow the guidelines above, you’ll discover that conversations with parents are nothing to fear.
You’ll leave them with little to get angry over, complain about, or be unsatisfied with. In fact, they’ll come away from your talk impressed with you and more willing than ever to support your classroom.
And the best part is your meeting will have impact.
Instead of the responsibility for misbehavior getting lost in the haze of the parent’s anger and dissatisfaction with you, which is typically what happens, it will now rest on the shoulders of the one person fully deserving of it:
The misbehaving child.
As we begin to look forward to College/Career Week, please take the time in your lessons to incorporate dialog pertaining to that. What kind of skills are students learning now that will help them in the workforce? Many times, students are surprised that elementary is so important to their future learning. It’s also a time to incorporate that growth mindset and what that looks like. Please remember that growth mindset is more than just effort. It is showing them what is also produced through that effort. You can have lots of effort and still do something wrong. It’s learning through the effort that helps us grow.
September 19th – 23rd, 2016
Monday, September 19th – “Be a Super Hero! There’s no dream out of reach when we conquer our school work.”
~ Dress like a super hero
Idea: Super hero cape can be made from a towel
Tuesday, September 20th – “Explore the possibilities!”
~ Dress as a wacky tourist
Idea: button up shirt, shorts, long socks, pretend camera
Wednesday, September 21st – “Oh, the places you’ll go!”
~ Dress up as your favorite Dr. Seuss Character
Thursday, September 22nd – “Twin Day ~ Double the knowledge! Head off to College!
~ Dress like a teacher or classmate
Idea: teacher will announce to class how they can match the teacher if they don’t have a student partner.
Friday, September 23rd – “Boals is where my future begins”
~ Wear your Boals Elementary shirt
(or gray shirt to match if you don’t have one )
You may wear jeans, if you participate each day in the dress-up activity.
Post-its from Pickens
Literacy Information for Parent Teacher Conferences
· Plan for conference. Plan your talking points.
· Start conference with positives/an area of strength for a student.
· ISIP is a screener; DRA trumps the screener.
· Students read within a range of levels, not one level.
· Show parents a range of texts as samples that are appropriate for child’s level, above and below level.
· Have an understanding of iStation sub-tests. There is no need to print iStation reports, just pull them up on the computer.
· The DRA2’s Focus for Instruction is a great source to facilitate discussions.
· Use the terms on/above or below grade level.
· Use “When Readers Struggle” comprehension prompts.
· Use anecdotal notes, running records and student conference notes.
· Use language “The focus area for instruction will be…”
Important Dates to Remember
September 19-Boosterthon Pep Rally 2:00 pm-Cafeteria
September 21-Instructional Team Leader Meeting 3:05 pm
September 23-Good Morning Boals Assembly 7:55 am-Cafeteria
September 26-Campus Improvement Team Meeting -3:05 pm-Library
September 27-Curriculum Night K-2(5:00-6:30) 3-5 (6:30-8:00)
September 28-Boosterthon Fun Run
8:30-K and 1
9:30-2 and 3
10:30-4 and 5
September 29-Progress Reports Sent Home
September 30-Good Morning Boals Assembly 7:55 am-Cafeteria