Individual Conferences: Session 4

Click for video about Individual Conference 4.

Last week, you and the student discussed how you both might realistically incorporate at least one of the better “task value” ideas into class. Begin this session by evaluating the effectiveness of this strategy.

Were you and/or the student able to incorporate this idea into class?

If not, why not?

If so, how did it work?

Is there anything that you can do to make it work better?

Review the list of ideas from session 3.

Are there any other ideas from the list that you want to try?

How will you implement these ideas into class?

How and when will you next evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented ideas from last session and this session?

ACTIVITY: Excuses, Excuses (from Vernon, 2002: What Works with Children and Adolescents)


  1. 8-10 index cards or small pieces of paper
  2. A pencil or pen
  3. A trash can or a garbage bag for depositing excuses


  1. Discuss what stops your student from doing better in school. If she can’t think of reasons, you can give some generic starting reasons, such as not doing homework, having better things to do, not feeling like it, etc.
  2. As the student comes up with reasons for not doing better, have him write each one down on a separate index card.
  3. Tell him that sometimes these reasons are like excuses, and that if he looked at these excuses as if they were trash, he could tear them up, toss them in the trash can, and not have them interfere the next time he has to do/achieve something.
  4. Suggest to the student that she review what she has written, reflect upon whether or not they help her accomplish her work, and have her tear up the cards and throow them in the trash if they interefe with her achievement.
  5. Tell him that now that some/all of his excuses are gone, he can set some goals to improve his performance.
  6. Ask the student to share a specific area of performance that she would like to improve. If she can not think of one on the spot, ask her to think about it and to come to the next session with at least one area that she would be willing to work to improve.

(From Vernon, 2002, p. 201)

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