Effective effort, reflections, and P-T conferences

One of my colleagues created a student reflection sheet for students to complete at the end of each quarter. He then meets briefly with each one to discuss how they’re progressing on student skills. I’ve refined it just a bit, but I’m wondering what you would add or modify?

While I’ve met with only a few students this reflection has been incredibly valuable as talking points during last week’s parent-teacher conferences. I hate discussing grades. Our grade books are transparent so parents can see their student’s grade at any time. What I can give parents however is a sense of how their child sees himself as a learner.

This quarter the biggest talking point for several students was effective effort in terms of:

  • 1) following the rubric or criteria of success, and
  • 2) implementing feedback

for the integer portfolio project.


The portfolio was extremely time consuming to assess, but the project gave me incredible insight into a student’s understanding. The two biggest drawbacks to the project were some students didn’t submit all the artifacts and/or they’re implementation of the feedback I provided was done only after I got parents involved. These were the two elements I added to the reflection and they became the major talking point I had with parents. They will also become a major talking point when I meet with my students.

One talking point that we’re quite familiar with is class participation. Students know themselves pretty well and parents do too. But asking students to self assess on active class participation invites a conversation on why one would try not to participate or volunteer answers. Not meaning to dwell on the negative, I do want to say it also gives me the opportunity to provide positive attention and acknowledge those who do participate, collaborate, and actively listen.


Other areas on the reflection sheet include class time use, assignment completion, quality of work, and attitude. For next quarter I want to add something about assessment preparedness and retakes, but I haven’t found the words yet.

I’m interested in making this better so if you have something that works for you, please share.


One thought on “Effective effort, reflections, and P-T conferences

  1. Mary, this looks interesting. I’ve used effort rubrics in the past but the template you’re using looks much better. I’m going to take this idea and use it with a few of my classes later this week. I find value in using these types of reflections with some type of student conference afterwards. I might even use it during parent/teacher conferences at some point.

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