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Edison Teacher Experiments With Student-Led Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences aren’t always the most exciting events of the school year. Parental understanding of their child’s progress during the school year is, however, vital to a student’s success. Melissa Styger wanted to try something new in her third grade class at Edison this year, so she decided to experiment with student-led conferencing. “I’ve been teaching for nine years and I’ve always wanted to try this but just haven’t been able to really visualize how it would work until this year,” Styger told parents in her introduction.  Student led conferences are more common at the middle and high school level.

Eight students were selected to lead their own parent conference in the classroom – four groups at a time. Each child was tasked with reviewing their classwork with their parents as well as giving them a Google Slides presentation on their progress so far this semester. Google slides is very similar to PowerPoint, except that it operates on Chromebook computers. Each student spent time in class building their presentations which included pictures and charts.

Parents and students alike seemed to enjoy the experience. “I think this was great,” said Katrina Ayala, whose daughter Kara had just given her presentation. “To hear how she thinks that she’s doing is great. I like that.”

Kara echoed mom’s views “this gives us a chance to really tell things from our point of view,” she said.

Ayala added, “She can come home and tell me all sorts of things about her day at school, but if I don’t see it myself it doesn’t always make sense.”
 
Styger looks on as student presents to mom and dad



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