Tag Archive: conferences


I haven’t gotten a chance to talk about my 2nd graders yet this year so I thought they would be my blog for today.   I was lucky enough to have a few of my 1st graders from last year be in my 2nd grade group this year.  One of the things we are working on is trying to problem solve on your own first.  Many of them come to an unknown word in reading or writing and while I’m working with a student I’ll hear, “MISS ACUFF!  WHAT’S THIS WORD?” or “MISS ACUFF! HOW DO YOU SPELL ______?”

IMG_8219(Quick side bar: Before I could say, “Try one of your strategies first and I’ll be there in a few seconds.” another student from the group said, “You know your job.  Do something….like sound it out.”  I had to smile.  I might have another little teacher in training.)

Last year they were my babies and had them next to me the entire time.  Now, in the way Interventions That Work want us to do it, the kids meet with me as the whole group briefly for letter work and directions/book orientation and then they go off to begin their work.  This gives me an opportunity to come around to each student while they are working and conference with them on their reading or writing.

Every group session it gets easier for them.  They are learning to use the strategies they have been taught–look for parts you know, what makes sense, what do you see in the picture?  In their writing they are getting better at using their writing skills–try it on your practice page, do you know a word that sounds like that word or is similar?, using your word dictionary, using your book for help, trying the word and circling it for me to check when we conference.

IMG_0068I was really proud of the kids today.  They all were doing a great job during IMG_8220writing of going to their strategies first and trying it.  They all know more than they give themselves credit for.  I went over writing strength and goal sheets with the kids and we were making sure they were monitoring their writing and going back to check.  (An example of the sheet I use it to the left)  I try to have my 2nd graders focus on 2-3 things they can work on.  For a lot of them it’s spacing, capital letters, and using the line spacing appropriately.

So we’ll keep chugging along!  I tell my kids the important thing to ask yourself is, “Am I better today than I was yesterday?”  We take it one step at a time and just have to keep making sure that the work we do today is better than the work we did yesterday.

It’s a great day to be a Lowell Cougar…am I right??

EvidenceI’m supposed to conference with my 2nd graders every day, but between Iowa Assessments, field trips, and me being sick, that hasn’t happened very regularly the last couple of weeks.

One of the things I’ve been noticing when I go to visit with my 4 boys is that I’m really struggling to get anything kind of lengthy response from them.  They already have a rubric in their response journals on what a score of 1, 2, 3, and 4 needs to be, yet time after time, I come back to journals that have 2 or 3 sentences in it and are usually I was surprised that….or My favorite part was….

Both my student teacher and myself have modeled what a good reader response should look like and we’re still struggling.

I started using this little sheet called “Show me the evidence!”  I’m hoping that some of these examples of connecting words will help us with their responses when they are working independently in the classroom.

Just a reminder that there will be NO Cougar Club this Tuesday, March 5th and Thursday, March 7th as Lowell is having Parent-Teacher Conferences.  Please enjoy the extra time with your family and all of us at Lowell can’t wait to visit with you regarding your child’s progress!

Also, the Lowell STARS bookstore will be CLOSED during conferences, but we will be having a Book Fair in the atrium where you can purchase books for your child.

As a reminder, conferences on Tuesday are from 4-8 PM and Thursday from 12-8 PM.


As a specialist I hear many times from the classroom teacher, “Whoa!  He was able to do that with you?” or “No!  She isn’t using that strategy when she’s in group with me.”  These types of comments can be extremely frustrating for me AND the classroom teacher as the student is seemingly not transferring knowledge from me to the classroom or vice versa.

One of the things I decided to try with my 2nd and 3rd graders is a “What stuck with you?” chart.  (I wish I could say this was my own creation, but I stole the idea from Title 1 teacher, Erin Sale, from Lincoln, who is in my Reading Intervention cohort)  Today I had my students write on a post-it note something that “stuck with them” from our reading or writing conferences we had.  Things varied from “break down the word”, “the edge is my friend” (referring to filling the page and not just writing in the center of the paper) to “using capitals”.  My hope is that each student will really stop and think after each lesson about something that really stood out or stuck with them that they can use in the classroom when I am not there.

This worked really well with my 3rd graders.  They each very easily were able to talk about something we had conferenced about and made it their goal to work on for the next time.  This was a difficult task for my 2nd graders.  When I asked them what stuck with them about our conference, they each started talking about the story they had read or about their writing.  They weren’t mentioning anything we talked about that they needed to work on or a strategy they could use to help themselves at a later point.  It took a lot of discussing before we got to a point where they could write something down.  Perhaps in the next coming weeks we’ll do some goal setting and work our way up to using the “what stuck with you” chart.  I will continue to use this with my 3rd graders.  I’m excited to see in the coming weeks if there starts to be more of a transfer from the work they do with me to the work they do with their teacher.

Bookstore Open!

This is just a reminder that the Lowell STARS Bookstore will be open during conferences during the following times:

  • Tuesday, October 16th from 4-7:30pm
  • Thursday, October 18th from Noon-8:00pm

We hope you’ll come visit the Title 1 team sometime and purchase some books for your children!

No Cougar Club Next Week

 This is just a reminder that there will be NO Cougar Club after school tutoring next Tuesday, October 16th and Thursday, October 18th due to parent-teacher conferences.

Enjoy the extra time with your family!

Cougar Club will resume on Tuesday, October 23rd!  Be ready to get your learn on!