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Conference day

Today we had student led conferences. I've seen it done before, but it never went this well in the past. Kids were well prepared and the parents were happy.



Students in the upper school were given a template of PowerPoint slides. They only had to fill in the blanks for each class, sport, or after school activity.

  • What have you done well?

  • What do you need to do better?

  • ATL** skills evaluation?


It was a super easy day for me. I sat at my desk and graded projects all day while kids took their parents through their slides. Most of them spoke to their parents in Chinese so I couldn't follow the conversation anyway.


** What's an ATL skill? ATL stands for approaches to learning. The ATL skills in an IB context are as follows:

  • Thinking skills.

  • Communication skills.

  • Research skills.

  • Social skills.

  • Self-management skills.


IB schools put a big emphasis on teaching these skills. Teachers have to pick a specific skill to focus on for a unit and we evaluate students on how they did in this specific skill.


Students have an advisory period for 45 minutes at the end of every Tuesday. They were given several of these periods to work on their slides.


In other news we've got team trivia night again Thursday. Team name this week? Furious George. Fingers crossed for my dream categories. Hmmm. What would my dream categories be?

  • NFL history

  • American Civil War

  • Mathematics

  • 80s pop culture

  • Movies

  • NCAA basketball






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Heresolong
Heresolong
Mar 29, 2023

Just stumbled across this regarding testing in China. Thought you might find it interesting.


Wisely ignoring what may be called the prehistory of the system—that is, the practice of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.—A.D. 221) of testing men recommended to the emperors—Miyazaki places the beginning of the examination system in the attempt by the Sui emperors (589—618) to assert their authority in the face of the old aristocratic families that had dominated China during the preceding period of disunity. When the short-lived Sui dynasty was succeeded by the T'ang (618—906), the examinations were retained by the new regime and again served as a means for broadening the class background of officialdom. But the system did not really flourish until the…

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David Shick!
David Shick!
Mar 30, 2023
Replying to

Interesting stuff, but it's not something I get to see or be a part of. In the IB schools they do their own batteries of testing. That said, it's pretty intense and last a LONG time. Mock exams are three weeks (that's the practice), and then the real exams are another three weeks. During this time I don't see my kids in class at all.

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Heresolong
Heresolong
Mar 29, 2023

Student led conferences actually went better this year at my HS than in the past. I thought many of the kids took it far more seriously. Still not sure about SMART goals. From what I've seen those are still parent and teacher driven with not much buy-in by the students. I like the self evaluation part by your students in very specific areas. I wonder if that helps drive the choice of goals by students. I also recognize that students are children and not known for their long term planning skills.


PS New laptop and I'm hating the updated emojis. Plain old happy face seems to have disappeared completely. :-)

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David Shick!
David Shick!
Mar 29, 2023
Replying to

Kid and parent buy in are necessary. Here there's nearly 100% participation by both parents. The only exceptions are due to travel, business, etc. I guess it makes a difference when you're shelling out $40,000 a year for your kids education.

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