Friday, April 1, 2011

Student-Led Conferences

We have yet to try student led conferences this year, but I am excited to implement them next fall. Student-led conferences are quite different that the traditional teacher-led conference. In the student-led conference, the student reviews their data folder with their parent. They discuss their progress towards their goals, look at work samples, and note their strengths and weaknesses. The teacher helps to facilitate the discussion, if needed.

Class Meetings

We have class meetings every Friday. Each class meeting is led by a student-- not the teacher. We review our ground rules and mission statement. We analyze our graphs and discuss our progress toward our smart goals. We also discuss the plus/delta chart, and brainstorm solutions to any issues.

Data Folders

Students track their individual progress with data folders. Students set personal smart goals, and enjoy graphing their progress.

Data Center

Our ground rules, mission statement, quality tools, smart goals, and graphs are all housed in our data center. This is like our classroom control center-- we check it and update it on a regular basis to see our progress.

Quality Tools

Another component of CI is the use of Quality Tools. We use quality tools as a quick way to brainstorm, get student input, or problem-solve as various issues arise in the classroom.

Smart Goals

After the Ground Rules and Mission Statement are established, it's time to create some Smart Goals! SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Students create smart goals for things we need to work on as a whole class. We track our progress towards our goals using graphs.

Building Our Mission Statement

Next, a mission statement needs to be created. This gives students a sense of purpose for being at school. It answers the questions: Who are we? What are we here to do? How are we going to accomplish it? Why are we doing this? Students all have a say in the creation of the mission statement.

Creating our Ground Rules

The first step in the journey of Continuous Improvement is to discuss the idea of "Quality." What does it mean to be a quality kid? A quality teacher? This discussion leads to the creation of classroom ground rules. Students will take complete ownership in creating this rules, while the teacher facilitates the discussion. Here are pictures of what we came up with!

Welcome to Continuous Improvement in McKown Town!

The purpose of this blog is to share my 4th graders' journey into Continuous Improvement at Ridgeview Elementary. We will take a sneak peak into our progress throughout the year with all 8 components of CI. We'd love to hear how other classes are experiencing CI in their classrooms too, so please feel free to share!