Creativity and invention took center stage on Tuesday, February 17 and Thursday, February 19, as students at A2
Charter School guided their families from one activity to the next
demonstrating the evidence of their learning over the past several
Called "The Invention Convention," the
student-led conferences gave students the opportunity present their
inventions and other works to their family members.
Students also identified their individual learning strengths and revealed their goals for the remainder of the year.
"It is wonderful to see the unique way the students are being challenged," said one parent.
than traditional conferences where teachers and parents discuss a
child's learning, the student-led conference features students speaking
about their own progress, using different pieces of their work to
demonstrate growth in a wide variety of reading, writing, listening and
speaking tasks. Unlike past practices when letter grades were awarded
in subjects like reading, math or language, students now articulate
their progress in very specialized tasks like reporting research
findings, recognizing points of view in historic events, predicting the
chain of events that could occur in the case of a power failure, or
understanding and applying geometric formulas.
"There is a depth of understanding that goes far beyond the usual classroom experiences," said another parent.
students are learning Spanish and had the opportunity to act as
instructors in that language for their parents in the presence of
Spanish instructor and PACE teacher, Sandi Fessler.
also presented the results of the research and invention that had taken
place in recent months, giving parents a first hand look at what only
their teachers and classmates usually have the opportunity to observe.
added to the celebration atmosphere at the school as students became
guides, showing off artwork, computer presentations, demonstrating
inventions, and reviewing their work in "Table Talk" sessions with
their family members.
Teachers, Sandy Spatt and
Kathy Nelesen circulated among the families providing clarification and
anecdotes to round out the information presented by the students.
responded favorably to the experience. "I am confident the conference
will prove to be a lasting fond memory of the Sheboygan school system
and, of course, my son. His enthusiastic perspective revealed how the A2 curriculum wonderfully co-mingles life, the 16 Habits, and academic lessons," one parent commented.
the hard work was worth it for the students. "On the way home, my mom
and dad said they are very proud of me," one student said.