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Middle School Student-Led Conference

Gabriella, a seventh-grade student at the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS) in New York City discusses her academic progress with her father at her student-led family conference. Learning targets, derived from Common Core standards, anchor Gabriella’s reflections on her progress.

This video accompanies the book Leaders of Their Own Learning: Transforming Schools through Student-Engaged Assessment.


- Miss Perelman this is my father.

- Hi nice to meet you.

- My pleasure.

- Dad, this is my portfolio. I’m gonna tell you about how well I’m doing. I just had my student led conference with my dad. We were talking about how good I’m doing, on my LTs I’m working on, my progress and everything I’m doing good in my classes.

- Is there any that you’re really proud of?

- I’m really proud of explaining what conductors are because it’s really simple.

- It is very important to have these conferences especially to learn and to see where our schooling stands as far as academic is concerned. And it also helps us get involved in the education of our kids.

- This is my contest clues quiz. See these are learning targets. I can define vocabulary words.

- I’m Gabriella’s science teacher. I’m also her crew leader. I really appreciate student led conferences because it increases participation greatly. Our school has 100% participation student led conferences, which is great for every single student to be able to have a conversation with their parents or their family member and their teacher about their progress.

- I can apply selected vocabulary words to my writing. See I’ve done really good. I only missed one question for defining conductors, but either way I’m really good at that. I’m a seventh grader and I’ve done this student led conferences about three times so I wasn’t nervous. But when I was a sixth grader, it was pretty nerve wracking because it’s just me talking to my dad while the teacher looks at me. Each learning target which I can organize an essay in paragraphs and I can support a claim with specific evidence from the text.

- We focused on her learning targets, her master of the learning targets and the learning targets that she’s focusing on for the rest of the trimester.

- This one learning target that I have to fix is I can evaluate algebraic expressions using substitution and order of operations. I mostly talked about math and science because math is my most rewarding class because I’m doing really well in it and I know everything about it. This is my mathematics exam A Unit One test about integers. As you can see I’m doing really well on all these learning targets except for I can solve integer word problems because I need to work on open response. And for science, it’s my most challenging class because it goes by really fast. It’s really confusing sometimes so I have to ask questions and we usually learn about one thing for two days and then we get on to a quiz. This learning target I can describe when particular events in earth’s history occurred, I got four out of eight, which is a two, so I’m gonna work on that.

- What happened there?

- I had to put them in order, but I got two wrong ‘cause I think I had to switch those.

- Something very important that I’ve noticed in this conference is that as far as her schooling and academics, I have noticed my daughter’s confidence, how it has changed and how much confidence she has built upon herself and everything she does.

- This is my house goal setting, where I explain what ways to be I’m good at, what ways to be I’m struggling in and what ways to be. I think that student led conferences boost the kids’ confidence because it shows how the kids can actually talk to their parents about their work. I’m always going into class with urgency and getting ready. For open minded, I give myself a four because I like to meet new people and share ideas. I think outside the box. The goal I set at the end of the conference was to boost my learning on my challenging class which is science because I really want to do better on it. I set my goal on being more prepared so that every time I do a quiz I make sure I study before I do the quiz so I know more and I can get really good.

- My next step is to go back to my team. And you’re asking teachers for help and you can extra practice?

- If I need it.

- [Miss Perelman] It’s the time for me to communicate with the other seventh grade teachers about any concerns among any of our students. And we all have a meeting that is focused on reflecting and debriefing student led conferences.

- I think my conference went great. I was pretty confident. I felt really good about talking with my father about all the work I’ve been doing. Dear father, thank you for coming to my SLC. I appreciate you taking time to come to my SLC.

- I’m very confident when I have to come to one of those conferences because I know her potential. She can run her show. I know what she wants and how far she wants to go.

- It’s nice to see that you love me so much that you showed up. I hope you enjoy, I love you. Love Gabriella Torres.

- I just believe it’s very important to have these conferences. Give daddy a kiss.

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EL Education

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