Friday, April 1, 2011
We have yet to try student led conferences this year, but I am excited to implement them next fall. Student-led conferences are quite different that the traditional teacher-led conference. In the student-led conference, the student reviews their data folder with their parent. They discuss their progress towards their goals, look at work samples, and note their strengths and weaknesses. The teacher helps to facilitate the discussion, if needed.
We have class meetings every Friday. Each class meeting is led by a student-- not the teacher. We review our ground rules and mission statement. We analyze our graphs and discuss our progress toward our smart goals. We also discuss the plus/delta chart, and brainstorm solutions to any issues.
After the Ground Rules and Mission Statement are established, it's time to create some Smart Goals! SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Students create smart goals for things we need to work on as a whole class. We track our progress towards our goals using graphs.
Next, a mission statement needs to be created. This gives students a sense of purpose for being at school. It answers the questions: Who are we? What are we here to do? How are we going to accomplish it? Why are we doing this? Students all have a say in the creation of the mission statement.
The first step in the journey of Continuous Improvement is to discuss the idea of "Quality." What does it mean to be a quality kid? A quality teacher? This discussion leads to the creation of classroom ground rules. Students will take complete ownership in creating this rules, while the teacher facilitates the discussion. Here are pictures of what we came up with!
The purpose of this blog is to share my 4th graders' journey into Continuous Improvement at Ridgeview Elementary. We will take a sneak peak into our progress throughout the year with all 8 components of CI. We'd love to hear how other classes are experiencing CI in their classrooms too, so please feel free to share!