Hi Everyone! I am happy to announce that I am FINISHED with conferences. I have a love/hate relationship with conference week. I truly do love having the opportunity to sit down with parents and just talk. It feels good to put it all on the table- literally and figuratively. :) On the other hand, it can be stressful. No news there! There is a lot of prep work ahead of time and some conversations can be... awkward. My first year teaching first grade, I decided that in order to calm my nerves I needed a checklist. Yep, checklists calm my nerves. If you're not sure what to say, go back to your checklist. If you need to bring up something hard, add it to your checklist. If it's on paper, it's somehow not as hard to communicate it to parents. Don't be mad at the messenger, be mad at the checklist. Ha! I wish. In all seriousness, I just love a good list and I. love. rubrics.
So I took my sad, Comic Sans, no clipart, no-boarder Microsoft Word document from ten years ago and I gave it a little facelift. Nothing too flashy, but it's a vast improvement. I don't even teach first grade anymore, but since most of my followers are first grade teachers, I wanted to spiff it up and share it with you today. Now it will be ready for me when I go back to doing first grade.
clip art by Teacher Laura
I also realized, after asking some friends, that we all may have different expectations of our students at conference time. We have different curriculum, start at different points in the year, and have conferences at different times. So, I also made an editable version where you can put in your own skills. You can download this here.
I also used to show them this Guided Reading Snapshot Assessment:
It's one of my most popular downloads. Made it on a whim one day while teaching first and I'm so glad I did. You can download that freebie here and read more from the original post here.
I made another option with some updated clip art too:
clip art by Whimsy Workshop
When I taught first grade, I also made writing, reading response, and math rubrics to help communicate to parents more clearly.
Even though I made my writing rubrics for my 1st grade class, they actually work for grades 1-3. There is a wide variety of rubrics in this pack!
I would always have a few samples of student writing during conferences with the attached rubrics. My rubrics pack has varying levels because I usually use a different rubric in September than I would in October and November. I show parents the rubrics and explain how they progress. That way, they know what they are looking at for the rest of the year when I send home the rubrics.
Here is what is in this pack:
I originally created my math rubrics because I found that the tests were just not enough for me. I wanted a way to grade them more authentically. I aligned them to the Common Core:
Stay tuned for another post featuring my friend Emily, who teaches 3rd grade. She has a fabulous checklist that she uses during her conferences. I will post that soon!