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help! conferences



Parent teacher conferences are coming up. How do you get through to parents that their child is behind and that they really need to work with them at home. I feel like sometimes when this is discussed it is not really understood how far behind they are.............


Full Member

One thing I have done is take some papers from average and high kids, hide the names, and show parents. Sometimes they need a frame of reference. If their reading is low, show them a passage of something they should be able to read and comprehend. You may want to grab something from the next grade level to show what they will be responsible for next year.



Judy's message is great. I also suggest that you show parents what the child is doing now and what is expected by the end of the grade. For example the last reading lesson taught and the goal that should be met by then. What state do you live in? Does your state use DIBELS?
Tell the truth and remember that the goals/expectations are always moving higher.



Whatever screening or diagnostic tests you have given (any type of assessment that will render a grade equivalency or a score--but not just an assignment) such as the Slosson Oral Reading Survey that will give you a grade equivalency, a Timed-Reading of gradelevel passage that will render both accuracy and fluency score for one minute reading, a benchmark test, etc. Chart the results (I use Excel in Microsoft), using numbers for student names rather than their names. I use vertical bar graphs, one for each assessment, with the student numbers running along the bottom axis and scores running along the vertical axis. I then show the parent which of the students is their child. This visual makes a huge impact without divulging any of the other student's confidential information. I've also used time lines, showing at what point in the year certain levels of mastery (words per minute, timed math facts, etc.) are expected to be accomplished and then plot on the time line where their child is in relation to where he should be. Once parents see the need, they are usually more than willing to work with their children. Be prepared with a printout of good websites, workbook titles and where to purchase them, a handout of instructions for activities and games they can play at home, and/or materials that you can loan the parent to address the particular needs of the child. Remember that that parent cares about their child, but just may not know what or how to help or even that help was needed. Very few parents who undestand the problem and who know what to do really won't try to help.