Throughout the unit, I make sure that students know to go back to their goal cards to see how they're doing. Mid-way through our unit I *try* my best to meet with each student to check on them to see how they're coming along with their goals. (This is in addition to any other quick assessments that I am doing throughout the unit.) We go over their goal sheets while we confer and I take notes in a handy-dandy class notebook that I made specifically for mini conferences. I have 4 classes, so I needed a way to organize my notes in a way that is both easy for me to access AND easy for me to quickly see who I haven't met with. I print each class on pages that are side by side so that when I open the notebook, I can see who I've written notes for and who I still need to meet with without having to rummage through pages and pages of a binder. Each class is organized on a large grid and each student has a large space for me to write notes. I have about 9 students per page. It's working very well and I'm actually learning more about my students this year. I just printed it on regular paper and then used cardstock for a quick cover. I just bound it together using black plastic binding. It's going to come in really handy when it's time for 5th grade conferences - a 2-day span of back-to-back conferences with 75+ parents. Whew!
I meet with the students again once we've accomplished all of our class goals and we make sure together that we have everything checked off of our list. It's an easy way to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Peek of goal card:
I'm still struggling with conferences. Science conferences are very difficult to have. The students that I know are doing well - I have a hard time conferring with them. I just don't know what to say. And the ones that are struggling a little - I have to pry out of them what they are struggling with. I'm so inexperienced with conferences since I am a 2nd year teacher - but I think it's more that science is just really difficult to confer about. I can confer all day about writing and reading and math, but science - I'm struggling. Am I the only one? Do you have conferences for science? What are some good starter questions that I could use? Or anything that might help me!
UPDATED - per request, click here to access all of my goal cards, along with my notes sheet for conferences. :)