Make the Most of Parent Teacher Conferences

Enrichment Therapies

September 3, 2019

Do Parent-Teacher conferences make you nervous? Are you wondering how to make the most of your short block of time? 

Conferences can seem overwhelming for parents who have children with academic challenges. View conferences as a time to work as a team and come up with a plan for your child. 

It is important to make the most of this short time! Parent involvement is valuable and vital for student success. By being prepared and asking thoughtful questions, you will gain a better understanding of your child’s academic performance and the teacher’s values. This information will be valuable as the school year progresses. 

What assessments are being used to determine my child’s current abilities?

It is important to know whether a computerized or face-to-face assessment is being utilized. Face-to-face assessments can give information such as effort, attitude, and engagement. 

What is my child’s current grade level for reading accuracy? Reading rate? Reading fluency? Reading comprehension?

Reading accuracy assesses the child’s ability to pronounce each word correctly. Reading rate evaluates the time it takes to read a passage. Reading fluency is a combination of a students reading rate and accuracy. Reading comprehension assesses a student’s ability to understand and retain information read in a story.

What strategies/programs are used to foster my child’s reading comprehension?

If a child is not understanding what they are reading, what is the point in reading? Comprehension is a very important reading skill that can easily be overlooked.

What tools do you use to monitor progress?

It is important for teachers to know and understand if teaching strategies are or are not working. This should be monitored frequently so that if an approach is not working it can be modified.

How do you communicate my child’s progress, and how often should I expect communication?

You should know what to expect in terms of how your child’s progress will be communicated to you and how often to expect it. 

What specific strategies are being used to help with math fact memorization?

Utilizing visuals and a visualizing technique is very effective. It is important to note that flashcards are used to assess a student and do not give the students a specific strategy to help them retain the facts.

What specific strategies are being used to help understand and process the language part of math word problems?

In order to complete a math word problem, your child must be able to read the problem, comprehend what is being asked, and then complete the steps in the problem. Utilizing visualizing strategies may be crucial. 

How are underlying language issues dealt with (memory, comprehension, expressive/receptive language)?

It is important to know how underlying language difficulties are identified, targeted, and monitored. Reading and reading comprehension are very language-based. If there are underlying language difficulties, reading and math may be affected. 

How many students are in the reading groups? Are the students all at the same reading level?

What reading strategies are being taught during this time? Are reading groups led by the teacher or a device? Is the instruction being given at your child’s reading level or the average level of the group?

How do you support social development?

Academic success is very important but socializing and building relationships are also important. If your child isn’t connecting with others and is not participating, their academics may suffer as well. 

It is important to communicate openly with your child’s school personnel. Teachers and school staff want what is best for your child. It is also important to understand that state regulations can limit the amount and type of services and that your child may receive. The earlier concerns are addressed, the better. When challenges are not addressed in a timely manner, negative feelings may develop around school and learning. At Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center we can help to bridge those gaps and build foundational skills that are needed to help your child succeed. 



Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.

740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317


5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


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