Zitzman 411

Game On

What's Happening This Week:

Monday: Shared Leadership Action Team Mtg 7:45am. Professional Learning Action Team Mtg 3:45pm. K-2 Writers Workship with Mrs. Savin 4:00pm.

Tuesday: (Dr. Sladek @ CE) PLCs. MO Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill @ 10:00am. Good News Club 3:40pm. Family Learning Action Team @ 4:00pm.

Wednesday: Early Dismissal 1:10pm. LIM Leadership Day.

Thursday: Admin Council 9:15am. Spirit Squad @ 3:45pm

Friday: Spring Bus Evacuation 9:00am.

PLC Agenda

  • Parent & Teacher Conferences

  • Positive Pop Ins--As a group (focus on feedback)

  • Grades 4 & 5 Math Tutoring Groups

  • Yrs 1-5 Summatives

March 6th--District Professional Development

Teachers must register for the PD using Frontline. See the sessions below for your department.


1:45-2:00 District Meeting in the PHS Commons - Dr. Mulford

2:00-3:00 Trauma Training by the Elementary District Counseling in the PHS Commons

3:00-4:00 Grade Level Meetings led by Grade Level Chairs

*All teachers are expected to attend.

Big picture

March 11th & March 13th

Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences offer great opportunities to deepen your working relationship with parents. As you highlight their child's strengths, discuss academic or social concerns, and share information about child development, parents come to see you as an ally and themselves as true partners in their child's education. A little thinking and planning will help you make the most of these great opportunities.

Tips for Success

Make an outline and gather materials. A plan for how you'll divide up the time will help you stay on track. Here's a general outline for a 15-minute conference:

  • 2 minutes: Opening conversation
  • 5 minutes: Report on academic progress and concerns (Student WIG's & Lead Measures)
  • 5 minutes: Report on social progress and concerns
  • 3 minutes: Summing up

However, you may need to put your plan aside if a parent raises an urgent issue that you weren't expecting. Remember that you can always schedule another conference!

In addition to writing an outline, you'll want to make notes for topics you want to cover and have at hand student work, assessment results (Evaluate scores), information on child development (Dojo Behavior Report), and anything else you want to share with parents.

Offer conversation starters. Put parents (and yourself) at ease with a question or two: "What did Sam like about school last year?," "What does Tina like to do at home?," or "What are some things you'd like her to accomplish this year?"

Invite parents to share their thoughts. As experts on their children, parents can share valuable insights. And they'll appreciate your respectful recognition of their role in helping their children.

Highlight the positives. Recognize a child's strengths before discussing her struggles. You'll give parents some perspective while encouraging them to work productively with you.

Address just one or two concerns. Listing too many problems can make parents (and their children) feel defeated. Mention that you'd like to help the student with several things, but for now you'd like to concentrate on just one or two.

Let parents know if you need thinking time. It's perfectly OK to tell parents you want to think through what they've said, observe their children for a bit, consult others, or read up on an issue they've raised.

Be Prepared for Surprises

Parents sometimes surprise us with negative or personal questions or comments: "My son's teacher bullied him all last year." "My daughter's lazy. She never tries at anything." "My husband doesn't care about Mark. He never comes to these conferences." "My wife's divorcing me. Things are falling apart."

What can you do in such an instance?

  • Steer the conversation back to positives: "I'm sorry things didn't go well for Adam last year. But because our time is limited, I'd like to focus on what we can accomplish this year if we work together."
  • Focus on the child: "You seem to be going through some tough stuff right now. I wonder if that's taking Jasmine's attention away from school. What do you think we might do to help her concentrate?"
  • Listen with empathy: "That must be hard" or "You've been through a lot" can help parents feel heard without injecting your own opinion or advice.
  • Offer to get help: "You seem to be wondering what to do next. Our school counselor may have some ideas for you."

Follow Up and Follow Through

After each parent-teacher conference, send a Dojo note thanking parents for sharing time with you. If you offered to find resources, gather information, and so forth, make sure you do so—and share the results with parents.

Parent-teacher conferences offer great opportunities to deepen your working relationship with parents. As you highlight their child's strengths, discuss academic or social concerns, and share information about child development, parents come to see you as an ally and themselves as true partners in their child's education. A little thinking and planning will help you make the most of these great opportunities.

For more information check out ASCD Express, Vol. 6, No. 12.

Counselor's Corner

Week of 3/4

Lessons - Empathy for K, 1 & 4

Conferences - Please let me know if you would like me to sit in on a conference or need any resources.

Big picture

LIM: Up Engagement With Student Hand Signals

Do you and your students use hand signals in class? Join this grade-level team as they discuss the student hand signals they use and why.

See below for a video and resource to use!


Video Link: https://limweekly.org/up-engagement-with-student-hand-signals/

Big picture

A Reminder... THANK YOU!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eE_rbi2quw&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0B467pzs8NPhEg6_envaelVsP-3OQnnuP2Nwa3Z5xzSAORpL_JSwpDmLI

Let's be the "weird" teachers! Break the walls and CONTINUE TO BE AWESOME!

The VALUE of what you do is so WORTH IT. YOU ARE THE ONES...