Teacher-Led Conference

Teacher-Led Conference:
Shelly Zavon
When I was helping my students prepare for the Student-Led Conferences in April, I asked them to go back and reflect on their previous goals they set in November. That to me, was the most important task they did for the SLC. Have they made progress in Fifth Grade? Were they growing as a student (not compared to others, but individually.)?
When I was thinking about how to prepare for my own conference, me being me, I asked everyone in around me to give me suggestions on how to present my 2012-2013 school year to administrators. Andrea Hernandez suggested that I tie my accomplishments this year to my Professional Development plan that we created together in August and Silvia Tolisano gave me the idea to link my teaching to the Learning Target wheels and discuss my movement through the sections of the rubric that the learning committee had developed.

The objective of my professional development plan for this year was:
“To continue to evolve to a more-student centered classroom (using strategies from Alan November)”
“To implement student-led conferences using Blogfolios”
The Growth Plan was:
Experiment with the role of “scribe” who will share tutorials /reviews of math lessons
•Set learning goals with students
• Continue to model reflective learning for students and colleagues
• Prepare 5th graders to lead their own parent-teacher-STUDENT conferences
• Research and connect with other educators implementing student-led conferences
• Document and share your experiences on the Ning (and professional blog?)

~Did I meet my goals?
Yes and no.
Yes, I did implement SLC’s in November and in April and yes they did use their student blogs to create and post their SLC presentations.
Yes, I did set learning goals with the students. Not only did I do this but I asked the LA teacher and Jewish Studies teachers to do the same for each Fifth Grade student.
*I also had each student set learning goals for themselves in November and April.
Yes, I continued to model reflective learning with my colleagues; however, I was not so outwardly reflective with my students. I would often say we need to “back up” and redo some activities, but as far as visibly (as in writing on the class blog) no, I did not do this.
Yes, I did do research when planning to implement the SLC’s and I often collaborated with Andrea. She was a great help to me with this and she always shared any research and examples she would find on this topic.
But, no, I did not connect with other educators implementing student-led conferences.
Yes, I did document and share my experiences on the Ning. I also led a session discussing SLC’s at our faculty’s “Edcamp” in January.
I did create a professional blog :Teacher 21
*One accomplishment of the year was that in 4th and 5th Grade Social Studies I worked collaboratively with Karin Hallett and helped the students develop research skills.
First, we did a project on the presidential election process.
The students were taught to find reputable websites, bookmarking skills (using Diigo) and persuasive writing skills which were used to create a speech for a given candidate.
Second, the 4th grade will publish an e-book focusing on Fort Caroline and 5th grade an e-book on Roanoke-The Lost Colony. This proved to be a very time-consuming project; however, the learning that took place was phenomenal. The students learned to research and find reputable websites, make citations for websites and texts using an abbreviated MLA style, summarize, and reflect. (e-book coming)
My biggest NO for the year is that I could never implement the idea of a “class scribe” for the blog. I tried on several occasions to have students create a tutorial for a concept in math. It failed miserably. The students were unable to share their knowledge effectively and I did not post their work on the blog.

*In the future, I must have the entire class practice making tutorials then have the “most capable” become the scribes in hopes that the others will learn from them how to create a good tutorial.

My Movement on the Five Wheels of the Learning Target:

Image citation:

**At our meeting I will share with you the PDF file of the Learning Target rubric where I annotated my progress
I. Learning Environment
II. Assessment-Area of weakness
III. Role of Teacher-Area of weakness
IV. Amplification
V. Task

I reviewed the MJGDS learning target (see PDF) and made notes in the columns where I think my teaching is now and if I am making movement into the next column.

I have realized that I am functioning mostly in the second and third column on the rubric so there is a lot of room for improvement.
I didn’t realize that I was at such a low level (1st column of rubric) in several sections under role of teacher and assessments until I went back and truly reflected what is going on in my classroom.

My New Goals for Teaching:
~Providing choices for students
~Providing more (differentiated) learning environment for students-“Daily 5 for Math” is something I want to research for next year
~Expand assessments past paper and pencil tests (especially in Math)
~Improve amplification by connecting with other educators (outside of our school) and collaborating with them ie lessons/projects
~Reach out and connect to a global audience (Twitter/class blog/professional blog)
~Change classroom environment to include more student generated work on walls and obtain furniture that is easily rearranged for better learning atmosphere
~Make sure that the students “own the learning” and have opportunity to create their own experiences that are authentic and relate to the “real world”
~Implementation of the 1:1 ipad pilot program for the 2013-2015 school years
~Use more online resources such as Pinterest to enhance teaching activities
~Read and comment on at least two educational blogs as often as possible


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