- Assess your learning in class so far this semester. Look at your participation, growth in writing, comprehension, etc..
- Where, in terms of your learning, do you want to be at the end of the semester?
- How are you going to get there?
- What can I do to help?
- Write a message to your parents.
What was difficult about this whole process was that 5 minutes for conferences was definitely not long enough. I had actual conversations with parents about their child and feel like I took away more from them about how their child is growing as a learner, or how their child needs to grow as a learner. I felt like I listened as much as I talked which is a huge change from the way I participated in conferences before. I was the one relaying all my information to the parent rather than allowing them to give me insight into their child and react to what their child had written.
Here are a few samples of things students said in their assessments:
Student 1: I have grown a lot so far during this year in terms of my reading comprehension and the understanding of different texts. Being in this class has definitely improved these things. I love coming to this class every day because it is very enjoyable and it is a great learning environment. The way that our class learns is so different that it is almost motivational for me to learn in it because it is so much fun. We have already read Macbeth and Lord of the Flies so far this year. Every day we would have discussions in class about the story, which not only allowed me to share my ideas and interact, but it allowed me to gain more understanding of what was going on in the story. When our class was required to read and annotate Lord of the Flies it helped me learn about the book by myself. My reading understanding has definitely improved. I also love participating and speaking up in this class because everyone will listen and then be able to give you feed back about your thoughts.
Would I do it again? Most definitely, but I would do a couple of things differently. One I would make sure all the parents had received the letter early enough to read it and be able to react to it. Also, I would have sent a letter with their child's learning assessment indicating my purpose behind doing conferences differently.
At the end of this semester I want to be able to read a book without any annotations or discussions but still be able to fully understand it. I want my mind processing to become much better, and for me to have deeper thoughts even when reading a book that was not assigned in class. I love reading and it would be great if I were able to understand something without having to research or ask questions about it on paper. I want my head to do all of the work in my head and be able to understand a book that I might read in my free time.
I am going to achieve this goal by doing all of my work for reading books. I will annotate and ask questions which will then teach me to do thinking for myself in my head. It is something that I will have to work for, and it will also come as I get older and grow in my thoughts and ways.
Mrs. Smith, you can help me achieve this goal by having more class discussions and helping me ask good questions. It might sound like a funny goal, but it would be amazing if I could understand everything that I read. Even if it was some book that had nothing to do with our class. I don’t know if there is much else you can do to help me achieve this goal. It is mostly something that I have to work for.
Student 2: Mrs. Smith’s class really is my favorite class. I actually understand what is going on. She always has interesting and different projects for us to do so that we don’t lose interest and work hard. Even though I like the work in her class I think that she kind of gives us a lot of it. Even though her class is my favorite, it is also the class that I have the most homework in. But the reason why I don’t mind doing it so much is because a lot of it is done on the computer and I like working on the computer. But I always do the work that we are given. But now that cross country is over I will have a lot more time to work on my homework and assignments. I know you think that I am a horrible student that doesn’t work hard and only cares about her social life, but I’m really not like that. I promise that my grades will go up and I am striving for an A in this class, Soccer/ Rec, and US History and a B in Science and Math. I really want those grades by the end of the semester. I am going to start going into my teachers when I need help after school and during my off hours, I’m going to spend less time on the phone willingly instead of being grounded from it, and I’m going to start studying really really hard on all my tests. I don’t like studying for tests very much but I will start doing it more often. Mrs. Smith doesn’t have to do anything to help me other than when I go in for help because she is already doing a good job teaching me in class. But the only thing I would like for you to help me with is to not put me down so much. I know I have bad grades, but I’m working on it really hard and when you take my phone away and tell me I can’t go trick or treating with my best friend. High school is already stressful enough and it doesn’t help very much when things like that happen.
1. Assessing my learning: I feel like I have learned a lot this semester, but not just learned. I feel like I have actually connected things we learned to life. Macbeth and LOF, for instance, were very relevant to human nature. It was so interesting to read these and talk about humans and society and the attrition thereof. The discussions we have are awesome and I always want to keep going. I think the main thing I need to work on is responding to others more on blogger. I need to learn how to have actual conversations on blogger (since it is hard for me to do this when there is no actual verbal dialogue going on). Other than that though, I feel pretty confident with what I have learned.
2. At the end of the semester I really want to take the idea of “learning outside of the school walls” to a whole new level. I definitely incorporate what I learn with how I live, but I feel like I could do more. Overall, there is no specific goal I want to achieve, like better grades or anything, just continuing to add my learning to my way of living. After all, that is the true reason for education.
3.I just want to continue conferencing with you about papers. This really helps me to understand what I need to fix in my writing, and it is just so cool that a teacher actually wants to spend time talking about learning instead of just being a teacher when in the classroom.
I have grown in class in a few different ways. First off, I am able to make connections to different things better. For example, I was able to make a lot of connections to Lord of the Files and Macbeth. I have also been able to manage my time better. I feel that I have participated in class quite a bit. I not only raise my name in class, but I also participate in all of the class blog discussions. I feel that my writing has always been pretty good, but I feel that I have gotten a little bit better at extending my word choice. For example, I think that I used good vocabulary words in my Macbeth essay. I think that I do have a good foundation for my comprehension. I feel that I really benefit when we discuss the book in class, though.
At the end of the semester, I would like to be in the position where I feel less stressed. At times, we have a lot of homework, and on other nights we don’t have hardly any at all. I would like to have a more constant amount so that we can plan out nightly homework a little bit more. I would also like to write more essays, rather than do so many projects.
I will reach that goal by trying to plan ahead more. I will try to use all of my time wisely. I will continue doing what I have been doing all semester. I think that I have been doing a pretty good job this semester.
You can help my by giving us more warning for all of our projects, and assignments. I think that you could maybe print us out a sheet that has due dates and our schedule for about a month. There would be no surprises this way, and we might be able to all have things done on time.
I am going to ask my students and hopefully their parents to comment on this process as well. Yep, that's right I want the parents to create blogger accounts as well so they can participate in the conversation. After all, that was my goal all around to create a conversation about learning.