Yes, I know I should be in Egypt by now. My stomach is turning and churning, and yet I will not allow them to turn in less than "perfect" projects. There have been a few things out of our control that have delayed us, and then there is the issue of quality. I really want them to feel good about what they do. My kids need to be pushed, because they have gotten away with just doing something and turning it in. In the past, some of their teachers were just happy that they turned anything in and accepted it. Not this teacher, if this is the only project we actually have time to do this year, it will be something that they are proud of when it goes up on the wall. Our semester ends in two weeks, so this is one of those real life deadlines that cannot be changed. It will be finished!
Student Led Conferences
One of the things (aside from me ranting and raving about quality) that is motivating them to finish their projects is the prospect of sitting there with their parents and NOT having a project on the wall to share. This year, I swore to have more communication with parents and this will be our 3rd set of conferences. At the quarter, the parents were happy to hear that they were coming back in December for another round of Student Led Conferences. All but three parents have signed up for a time slot, and conferences are still a week away! As hectic as it may be that last week, we will be having conferences. This week we will be preparing for them, after we finish the Iceman!
This is the invite that went home last week, and their Math Reflection.
This is to guide them with their Language Arts portion. The kids in System 44 will have a similar reflection, except their scores are slightly different.
At the end of the conference, I want them to review the expectations for students, and parents. We have been having a little issue with missing homework and "forgetting" things.
This is the checklist and "script" that will guide them during the practices and conferences.
Will this take time that I could be using to at least get through Mesopotamia? Yes, but I cannot think of a better use of my time in the classroom than teaching them to self-assess, set realistic goals, and to take responsibility for their learning. Years ago, I traveled all over doing inservices for schools and speaking at conferences about Student Led Conferences - if some of my stuff looks familiar, it is because I handed it out all over the country, this was before TpT. I stopped presenting and traveling, because I hated being away from my classroom and my students, not because I thought Student Led Conferences were not important. I never stopped doing Student Led Conferences.
On a Personal Note
Since so many of you were so sweet about my Maddie's surgery (earlier this year), I wanted to let you know that I said goodbye to my beautiful girl last week. Without going into a lot of details, her long time vet and I agreed that it was time. After thirteen years of love and devotion, it was time, and I realistically, I could not ask for more of her.
The problem of getting a puppy as an adult is that you understand that there will be heartbreak down the road, but you go ahead because the pure love and companionship that you get from them is worth every tear. It has been a hard week, but I will be fine. In the not so distance future, when the right dog comes along, I happily go down that road again. In the meantime, my little dog, Lucy is adjusting to life as an only dog - and getting spoiled rotten.
Have a great week and hang in there!
p.s. Adorable paper in the frames is by Miss Tiina