Thursday, December 10, 2009

Parent-Teacher Conferences & Thinking Maps

Reflect on parent-teacher conferences using the LINKS Reflection form and post a question you still have about conferences.

Were you will prepared for conferences?
I felt like I was prepared for conferences and ready for questions/concerns and comments from parents. I had all my data prepared from my Fitness scores. I also felt like I had a good understanding of each of my kids and how they were performing in Physical Education class or in Developmental Adapted Physical Education.

What would you do differently?
I don't think that I would have changed very much. The one thing I might do differently is put a welcoming sign outside our door to tell parents where our office is located and that they were free to stop in to visit or if they had any questions. I also think it might have been helpful to speak with the teachers before conferences so they know to tell the parents that we are available in our office. These two ideas might have made it more welcoming for parents to stop in and talk.

What needs did you identify through conferences?
The needs I identified through conferences is the need for good communication with the parents. It is so vital to have that foundation set before a good or bad conference is to be had.

Question about conferences.......Why don't parents often come talk to their Physical Education teachers about their kids in class?

Case Study Student
What did you learn about the student though this conference?
I learned a lot about my child's interactions with his parents at home. I learned more interests and favorite subjects in school that my guy likes to do. I also learned about strengths and weaknesses that he thinks he has.
What goals did you set with the family?
We set a blurting goal, that when blurting happens in school or when he is with me that he would learn to write that down in his notebook instead of saying it out loud. We also set a turn taking goal that he would learn to wait his turn and learn to be more patient.
What impact did the conference have on the student's performance?
I think it made the student realize that there are a lot of people that care about his performance and success at school. I think it is helping him have more vision in school and goals to work toward.

Reflect on a lesson where you used a Thinking map.
I used a thinking map, double bubble map to compare and contrast soccer to floor hockey. We talked about the similarities and differences between the two and put it on our white board. It helped him see what was similar and different between the two sports. He learned that many of the rules were the same but some of the skills in each game made them different and unique from one another. I learned that thinking maps can be used for any subject and can even be done on the sidewalk with chalk-what a GREAT idea. Now if there wasn't all that snow....

Question about thinking maps....What units in Physical Education do you think would be the most beneficial to thinking maps and which maps go along with those units?


  1. To the great Amy!
    1.First off it sounds like you were really prepaired for conferences, I bet that you would have had a better turn out if grades had been issued and parents were coming to you wondering why their kid didn't get the top score. Also one thing that you could do during conferences is walk around the building and "bump" into parents of your students. I think that most parents are on a timeline and they don't feel the need to talk to us non-core teachers unless they have too.
    2. Its nice that you got the chance to talk to your case study student's parents. It seems like you really figured out a plan that included the studnet and is meaningful to the student. Was the student present when you had your conference with his parents? If so I think that would have been very benneficial

    3. Thinking Maps in PE, great working doing the map, what grade level did you do it with? How much time did you have to have the kids sitting still for? I found that my kids were to young and didn't know the maps (by talking to their teachers) So I didn't even attempt it. Also I agree about the sidewalk chalk, if only there was no snow!

  2. Hey Amy,

    Well, for what it's worth, I liked coming to your office and talking to you briefly during conference time! :)

    I appreciated your idea about suggesting to the classroom teachers that they tell parents to stob by and see us. That's a good one. Your office IS really hard to spot/know about, so I agree that a sign on the door, or even trying to prop the door open, would have gotten you and Julie more visitors. It might be awkward with you both sharing an office to deal with confidentiality as parents came to see you both... you'd probably want to work out some kind of schedule.

    I LOVED reading about your case study student conference. They sound like a great family to share all that information with you, and that they care deeply about fostering a meaningful relationship between the two of you. Your student must really love working with you!

    Your thinking map idea sounded so simple and so effective! You should read my comment on Dave's post about trying a physical representation of a map... I don't know if it's crazy/too abstract, but it might be something to think about!