How to Use NoRedInk Data During Parent-Teacher Conferences

Two parents speaking with English teacher during a parent-teacher conference

NoRedInk puts critical student performance data at your fingertips so that you’re able to conduct streamlined, highly effective parent-teacher conferences.

Parent-teacher conferences are an incredible opportunity to forge connections with your students’ parents, guardians, or caregivers and share all the hard work you and your class have done throughout the year.

In most cases, you’ll only have a short window of time to provide a rundown of what you’ve been teaching and dig into each student’s academic performance and overall social-emotional experience in your class. As such, it’s important to not only track student progress on an ongoing basis, but find ways to communicate this progress in an efficient and digestible manner. Below, we explore several ways to use NoRedInk data and assignments to conduct streamlined, highly effective parent-teacher conferences.

1. Illustrate student progress with clear data

While you should strive to make space for a well-rounded, wide-ranging discussion of how each student is doing, many parents quickly zero in on grades and what they mean for their student’s standardized test readiness, grade promotion or graduation trajectory, or post-secondary prospects.

Your NoRedInk Student Data page is your gateway to individualized student data that can serve as an onramp to broader performance discussions. Clicking on a student’s name will take you to a comprehensive, chronological list of the assignments they’ve completed. This list includes their individual scores as well as links to detailed breakdowns of which questions they got right and which questions they got wrong on each assignment. If you wish to focus your discussion on certain assignment types, you can use the filters at the top of the list to hide or reveal Practice exercises, Diagnostics, Quizzes, and writing activities.

Because parents might not be familiar with how various NoRedInk assignments are graded, it can be worthwhile to give them some context about what the numbers they see really mean. Consider explaining the following:

  • Practice exercises: Practice exercises are graded based on completion and only show up in a student’s list of scored assignments once they’re fully complete. Since NoRedInk Practice exercises present remediative questions when students enter an incorrect answer, one student working on recognizing whether a topic sentence includes a claim might only need to answer 10 questions to master this skill, whereas another might need to answer 15, 20, or more. Despite these differentiated learning experiences, both students’ assignments will show scores of 100 on their results pages.
  • Diagnostics and Quizzes: Like Practice exercises, Planning Diagnostics are graded based on completion and will display a score of 100 assuming they’re submitted by the due date. Unit Diagnostics and Quizzes, however, are scored based on the percentage of questions students answer correctly—these scores will be more aligned with the traditional approach to grading most parents will be familiar with.
  • Writing activities: When creating a Quick Write, you can choose to grade submissions according to a rubric, grade submissions on a 1-100 scale, or have NoRedInk automatically give students full credit (a score of 100) for hitting a specified word count. When creating a Guided Draft, Self Review, or Peer Review, you can choose either of the first two grading approaches.

2. Identify and explain strengths and weaknesses

The average parent-teacher conference doesn’t give you enough time to get too far into the weeds, but it can still be helpful to spend a few minutes walking parents through an assignment or two so they get an idea of some of their student’s specific areas of strength and areas for growth.

Clicking “View answers” next to a Diagnostic or Quiz on a student’s results page will take you to a question-by-question breakdown of what the student got right and what they got wrong. For Unit Diagnostics and Growth Quizzes, you’ll be able to see how many attempts it took for the student to land on the right answer after receiving remediative tips. These data-driven insights can provide parents with a deeper understanding of why their student earned the grade they did and give them a window into the specific skills you’ve been covering in your class.

3. Celebrate student writing

Even though quantitative metrics of student success are often top of mind during parent-teacher conferences, sharing samples of student writing is a great way to engage parents and demonstrate what all their student’s hard work has been building toward.

NoRedInk Writing Portfolios are lasting, personalizable collections of student writing samples that are easy to share during a conference. Students have the ability to feature Quick Writes and Guided Drafts they’re particularly proud of, which can give you a good idea of what to share with their parents. If you want to provide parents with the opportunity to give their student’s writing more than a skim, you can batch print their student’s featured portfolio pieces prior to your conference with just a few clicks.

Conduct more effective parent-teacher conferences

As valuable as they are, parent-teacher conferences can be a stressful time for teachers. NoRedInk simplifies the process of tracking student progress on an ongoing basis so that, come conference time, you can focus on developing relationships with parents, guardians, and caregivers instead of on pulling together disparate data.

If you’re ready to start building better writers in your classroom, sign up for NoRedInk for free today!

Thomas collaborates with colleagues from across NoRedInk to craft stories that illustrate how NoRedInk ​​builds stronger writers. He holds a BA in Religious Studies from Occidental College.