Tips for Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences


Parent-teacher conferences were always so stressful for me. I was always so nervous about the parents and if they were happy with me as their child's teacher. It also was just a lot of work getting everything ready for conferences. There are a few things I learned that helped me to have successful conferences, and I would like to share these tips with you.

-DON'T SURPRISE THE PARENTS.
You should be in contact with your students' parents enough that if there is a problem, they are aware of it.

-BE PREPARED.
When I did conferences, I made a folder for each student in the class. Each folder had a checklist to go over each item that would be on the report card and how they were doing so far. I also included samples of students' work for the parents to look at.

About a week before conferences, I would send home a survey for the parents to fill out with questions about how they were feeling about different aspects of their child's education, and if there were any concerns they wanted to discuss. This was so helpful, because then I knew how to best prepare for each conference. Of course, not all parents would turn them in, and sometimes they didn't write everything down, but in general it really helped me to be better prepared. You can get a copy of the form here.

It is also a good idea to have handouts on different subjects that could be helpful. Some ideas for handouts I have done in the past are:

Strategies parents can use when they read with their child at home
Book lists for different reading levels
Ideas for practicing spelling words

Think about your students and what types of things might be helpful for their parents.

-HAVE A COMFORTABLE PLACE TO MEET.
This is good not only for the parents, but for you as well. Taking some time to straighten up your classroom will help parents feel welcomed and get the conference off to a good start. I love using lamps instead of the harsh fluorescent lights. It makes it a lot more cozy. I also make sure to have enough space for the parents to look at their child's work, and set up two chairs in case both parents show up. I also like to provide something for them to write with in case they want to make notes.

Be sure to keep breath mints and a water bottle handy. You will be doing a lot of talking, and you will be glad you have them.


-BE POSITIVE ABOUT YOUR STUDENTS.
Always start and end the conference with something positive about the student. It shows the parents that even if their child is having a hard time in school, you recognize their positive attributes and care about their child.

Hopefully conferences will go well for you! Click here to see another article with some great advice for parent teacher conferences.

Do you have any other good tips for conferences? Leave a comment below!!!



Books and Beyond: Creepy Carrots

Welcome! I am so excited, this is the first installment of my Books and Beyond monthly book club. Each month I will feature one book with a summary, review, book study, and book giveaway! You will definitely want to follow along.

Since Halloween is coming up, I decided to focus on a book that would be great to read during this time. I chose Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds. Have you read this book? I just heard about it not too long ago, and it is awesome. It is about a rabbit who loves carrots. He pulls carrots from Crackenhopper Field on his way to school, from school, to baseball practice, and any other time he gets a chance. But then one day he thinks he sees creepy carrots following him. He starts seeing them everywhere he goes! What will he do to solve this problem?? You better get the book to find out. Or you could enter to win a copy of the book at the bottom of this post!

This is a great book to read to your class, because it isn't specifically a Halloween book, so if you have kids who don't celebrate Halloween, you could still read this. It's also not too scary, because the creepy part of the book are carrots. So it's kind of a mix between creepy and silly. The illustrations are probably the creepiest part of the book. I love them. Everything is in gray tones, but then the carrots and other objects are orange. It won the Caldecott Medal for the illustrations.

My book study has a lot of different activities to do with your students. Here are a few I decided to spotlight:
CHARACTER TRAITS

In this activity, students think about how the main character in the story looks and they draw a picture and write the outside traits. They then think about the story and write the inside traits of the main character. Your students will love making the window to peek in at the inside traits.























SHADES OF MEANING


This activity focuses on three words from the book. Each word has two synonyms, and students put the words in order from weakest to strongest. For example, one set of words is creepy, terrifying, and frightening. I would put creepy on the bottom, then frightening, then terrifying, because terrifying is the strongest form of the word.







SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS

There are two versions of this activity. In the first, students cut out words and then decide if they are synonyms or antonyms for the word Creepy. Then they glue them in the correct spot.









The other version is nice if you don't have as much time, or if you don't want to deal with the cutting and gluing. In this activity, students come up with their own synonyms and antonyms for the word, then they write a sentence using one of their words.

Click here to download this page for free!






ADJECTIVES



In this activity, students come up with an adjective to replace creepy. They then decorate the carrots depending on the adjective. For example, I chose crazy carrots.











Other activities in this book study include:

A centers activity for sorting synonyms and antonyms
Nonstandard measuring with paperclips and counting cubes
Making connections
Retell the story with beginning, middle, and end
Problem and solution
Comprehension questions
Opinion writing
*Two versions of all activities are included: one with the gray border shown and one with a simple line border.

If you would like to win this book study, enter  below! If you don't win, you can always find it in my TpT store, and right now it is on sale for 20% off.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to enter to win your own copy of Creepy Carrots

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next month's Books and Beyond post will feature a Thanksgiving picture book. What book would you like to see me spotlight?