The appointments are made, your marking is up to date and this time you’ve stocked up on snacks to get you through to the bitter end. Yes – Parents’ Evening is just around the corner.
In addition to the pressures on the evening itself of keeping conversations on-track, getting your message across in the allotted time and greeting the very last parent as warmly as you greeted the first, there’s also the small matter of preparing for the appointments themselves.
The impact on learning of open dialogue between home and school are well-recognised and Parents’ Evening can be a valuable tool for communicating effectively with parents. In order to make the most of the face-to-face time with parents, it’s useful to do your homework first and decide exactly what you want to say. But this can be time-consuming. Half termly or end-of-unit attainment data is easily collated, but how can you gather together quickly the other information that gives a more rounded view of your students?
For those using Google Classroom, here are our top tips:
- Encourage students to reflect on their learning skills
Pose a question in Google Classroom to find out which skills the students feel they have used in their learning or feel they have developed since September. Even better, ask a short series of questions about strategies they have used to tackle tricky areas in their learning. How resilient do they feel they have been? What could they do to improve their learning strategies? This will help gather information about the way your students see themselves as learners. Whether you agree with their self-evaluation or not, this is important information to share with parents so they can support their child’s progress.
- Identify areas of learning a student needs to revisit
Create a quiz in Google Forms about your students’ learning over the last half term or in a specific unit then share the link in Google Classroom. If you opt to have responses automatically collated in a Google Forms spreadsheet, you’ll have a quick overview of any misunderstandings or gaps in each student’s knowledge and any areas in which a student’s knowledge and understanding excels.
- Get a snapshot of attainment in different tasks
If you’ve been using a formative assessment tool such as StudyBee, which sits inside Google Classroom, use the information in the Course Progress pane to get a quick overview of the child’s attainment in different tasks. Was there an activity they struggled with? Or one in which they flew? Check back on the feedback you gave and consider how well the student responded.
StudyBee allows you to track a student’s level of attainment in different tasks and assignments in just a few clicks, allowing you to plan effectively for their next steps. With this level of control, it’s easy to make your planning and teaching as responsive to the needs of your students as it can be. Download a free trial today and see how StudyBee could transform your formative assessment and save you time.