Student Led Conferences: Primary vs. Upper Elementary

Understanding What I know Primary SLC Checklists
Upper Elementary students benefit from reviewing their portfolios and choosing work samples that highlight their strengths and areas for improvement.
There is no getting around it.  Planning is essential to helping students succeed during their conference.  They need to know what specifically they are good at and what they can improve on.   This requires more guidance and structure for younger students and should probably be done in a small group or individual conference.  Checklists are helpful at the primary level and portfolio analysis is necessary with older students.

There is no way a five year old can effectively lead a parent teacher conference.  Or is there a way?  It may be easier to imagine a fifth grader leading their parents through their strengths and areas for growth than it is a five year old, but it is completely possible and something you should definitely give a try!  Let me explain some subtle and not so subtle differences between Student Led Conferences (SLCs) in the primary and upper elementary levels.



Primary student SLC booklet
Inside Primary student SLC booklet
Upper Elementary SLC student booklet
Upper Elementary SLC student booklet
Organize, Sort, Count Center for Kinder
Roll, Write, Compare, Chomp! for Kinder
Reading & Writing Center for any grade.
Reading & Writing Center for any grade.
Role playing with both the younger and older kiddos is so very important.  Many students may have never had a conversation like a conference with a parent before and so they will have a mix of emotions.  They may feel anxious, nervous, shy, scared, etc. because they don't know how their parents will react to what they are saying.  By practicing what they will say, giving them sentence starters, and a guide to what they will do during their conference will help them with the unknown a little.  With the itty bittys you will probably need to practice this way more than with the older students. If you choose to have a student booklet that will walk the students through what you want them to do and discuss, I highly recommend making it like a scavenger hunt (see above) where students use a stamp to mark what they have completed.  This approach has students of all ages showing parents quick tasks that they have mastered or work samples that show their ability.  I recommend using centers they know well.


Once you have planned and practiced, it is time to let the headache that parent conferences usually is walk out the door.  Once your SLCs begin, make sure to monitor the conversations, but bit your tongue from interjecting too much.  I usually try to stand in earshot, eavesdropping, so I'm not making myself a part of the conversation. You can find the following two products in my store here:
EDITABLE Student Led Conferences (SLC) Starter Pack (Featured in the March 6, 2016 TPT newsletter!)
Have you used SLCs?  What grade and tips for success do you have?

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