Moved a little farther down the road yesterday. Looks we have settled into a pace of 5 conferences per hour. No, not setting any speed records, but we are moving ahead–slow and steady.
Above are some images of my sitting down with some of my kiddos yesterday. Here are the steps that I follow for each conference.
- I provide a general overview of what the conference will entail.
- We each pull up the letter on our Chromebooks. Love Google Docs.
- I provide each kid with a form. On one side is the SBA rubric. On the other side are two columns: “Things to Think About” and “Things to Celebrate.”
- We then read through the letter together. As we go, I offer feedback, and the kids write down my suggestions in the “think-about” column.
- Next, we flip the form, and with a highlighter in hand, I mark where I believe they fall on the rubric, providing a brief rationale, which draws largely from our conversation in step 4. I also provide a tentative, unofficial indication of how I think they will perform on the SBA based on what I see in front of me.
- Finally, we flip the form one last time, and together we find things to add to the “celebrate” column. I make the kids go first and then I add what I believe is worthy of celebration, too. This final step is very intentional. I always want our interaction to end on a positive.
- I thank the kiddo. Place the form in his/her portfolio and get ready for the next.
- Repeat steps 1 – 7.
Each conference takes roughly 10 minutes. And though the process is the same, the content of each varies by kid. And that is what I love the most. I have to meet each where he is. Differentiation at its purest perhaps. Love, love, love it. And I am beginning to believe that the kids are finding value in it, too. Well, at least, they seem not to hate it.
Brief pause today. We have half days for conferences, and so this 1st, 2nd, and 3rd periods’ Friday, and since it’s, then, the first Friday of the month, it’s Community Circle time. Yes, that will delay our conferences, but the letters will be there when we get back to it on Monday. Today, the members of the community, not the work of the community, will take center stage. Another intentional decision. Another important decision. Can’t teach them if I don’t know them.
Happy Thursday, all.