Student Led Conferences

"Wow! We filled up the whole board, and there's more that we couldn't even fit!" My math class was admiring their list of topics we had covered in math this year. I was enjoying their pride in what they have accomplished. It's all part of student led conferences. Every May we have the kindergarten and older students reflect on themselves as learners and share their observations with their families. They write about how they feel recess is going, some strategies they have for solving problems, goals for future learning, strengths, and challenges. They share some of what they have written, some of what they are reading, and some of their math skills. The week is spent in preparation, and I love watching them see how much they have grown over the course of the year.

It's a pleasure to sit back on Friday and watch as they revel in what they have done, and are continuing, to do as learners. I am also moved by the care our families show for these kids - it's a privilege to be part of their childhood.

Morgan's PK and K Class

* Worked on the number 25

* Counted out 25 paper strips and then made a collage

* Made bird feeders with Cheerios using the number 25

* Played math number and alphabet bingo!

* Worked on our cutting and gluing skills

* Explored new slime and playdough with bugs

* Used our chalkboards and chalk to practice writing. We talked about using the chalk gently while using a pencil is a firmer grip - we were having a lot of chalk break but not our pencils.

* Read bug books then compared imaginary bugs to real bugs (Fly Guy vs. Waiting for Wings)

* Looked for butterflies and bugs outside

* Made a few beginner reader books.

* Explored dandelions that were still yellow and then the white puffs. We found a few bugs on the yellow dandelions but none on the puffs. The children talked about the bugs getting their food from the yellow dandelions and how fun the seeds were to blow off the stem!

Tracy's 1st and 2nd Grade Class

In math, we did some backpack weighing and worked to develop measuring benchmarks. It's useful to have a sense of what one pound feels like, what one inch looks like, or how long a meter is. Finding objects around the classroom that fit each of these give kids a chance to practice their measurement over and over again. We compared numbers using expanded form and worked on place value. We're continuing to do a little daily practice on math facts. The blue book kids are looking at different strategies for double digit subtraction.

In literacy, the kids are really starting to know what makes long vowel sounds and to use them correctly in both reading and writing. It was fun to look back at what we were reading at the beginning of the year and celebrate how much more everyone is reading now. The kids (especially the first graders) were also a little surprised to see how different their writing looked at the beginning of the year. "I was using all uppercase." "I only wrote one sentence." They were a little shocked to see how far they had come.

Theresa's 3rd-5th Grade Class

This week was spent largely preparing for the Student Teacher Conferences. Children were instructed to "Own" the conference and to be the person in charge of the meeting. For many of the students, this was new to them. They did a great job of presenting what they have learned.

It is so wonderful to be in a community where we know that all of the children and families are on the same page, recognizing a child's weaknesses, but always working to figure out how to lessen a child's barriers to achievement.

We finished Walk Two Moons, and we will be starting new books on Monday. It is going to be hard to top that experience, but I am going to try to at least keep the enthusiasm running.

The kids are working to review and solidify their understanding of the concepts that they have learned this year in math. The third graders are reviewing, and the other students are still working on the year's curriculum.

The "Paragraph per week" study is entering into its 4th week. We had been studying how to share an opinion. We are going to spend a few weeks practicing how to share information.

It has been really helpful to have so many children on Splash Learn. It is a really great tool for them, both at school and at home.

Theme: Indonesia

We read Rice is LIfe and learned about the many animals who live in the rice fields or sawah. Then we sampled some plain rice and coconut rice, experimenting with eating with our fingers. They made very little mess and were pretty enthusiastic tasters. I learned that Krakatoa is known as Krakatau as we read about that very famous volcano. We tried to wrap our heads around the destruction of that day in 1883. We also learned about some of the main types of volcanoes, molded them in playdough, then imagined them erupting. We read Run Elephant Run and learned about more the many animals that make up the jungle in Indonesia and watched a little more Balinese Dance.

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