Dear Parents, Friends and Families,
On Thursday, March 7th, OIS JVLR will host Student-Led Conferences (SLC’s). This will be a non-student day.
“Student-led conferences involve the student and the parents. The students are responsible for leading the conference, and also take responsibility for their learning by sharing the process with their parents. The conference involves the student discussing and reflecting upon samples of work that they have previously chosen to share with their parents. These samples have been previously selected with guidance and support from the teacher.” (Making the PYP happen: A curriculum framework for international primary education, 2009).
Parents will be asked to sign up for a 20 minute slot via an appointment scheduler which will be shared just before the conferences. Students are expected to do all the talking and leading and the conference can be in a language of a child’s choice. Parents are encouraged to play the role of a listener and be led by their child. Throughout the session, parents are also encouraged to ask questions that will help the child be empowered and successful.
Some guiding questions that can help could be:
Notice there are no specific questions about correcting spelling or grammar, as tempting as it is to correct a child’s piece of work this is not the purpose of SLC’s. Such conventions are noted by the homeroom teachers and are kept as a separate assessment record. At the end of the SLC, you will be asked to complete a reflection of what you understood from your child’s conference. The reflection may be designed by the student or given to you by the homeroom teacher.
The homeroom teacher’s role is evident in the planning and preparation of the conference, a great deal of work has been done in preparing the students for this conference, however, on the day, the teacher is not available for an individual meeting with you. If you wish to create a time to meet with the teacher to discuss your reflections, this can be done at another time. The purpose of the conference is to empower the student.
Miss Lisa Hughes
Head of Primary @OISJVLR
Reading is power and power is reading. This year, reading has been happening: in groups, with teachers, individually. As we celebrate Read Aloud Month at JVLR, parents have been in to classrooms reading; there have been reading workshops for parents; students are carrying on with their guided reading sessions; different grades are reading to each other; students are dropping everything and reading at a certain time every day (DEAR time).
Our focus has been on reading comprehension or what students understand by their reading. With practice, students gain fluency, and with some guidance from teachers, they learn to decode, but what we really want from reading is the ability to think and learn and discuss.
In our guided reading groups happening, students are learning the power of pausing as they read. As one student said to me the other day, "I love going slowly with books, and I like our discussions." Coming from a student who loves to race through books, it was wonderful to hear. We are focusing on slowing down and enjoying books.
With parents, over the last two weeks, we have discussed read alouds and the research behind it. Thank you to all the parents who took the time to come in for the discussions. There is research behind the power of reading aloud. It opens up worlds for our children who can understand so much more when being read to. It gives us time to pause and bond with our children. Reading aloud is a chance to read and discuss different lives and emotions. Overall, reading with understanding allows us to experience empathy.
I've uploaded presentations from the two read aloud sessions: one for early years and the other aimed toward primary parents.
Take some time to look through the presentations. Come to the book exhibition happening on student-led conference day. And read to your children every day.
Primary Years Programme of Inquiry: Link