How to Use Editable Conference Forms for Virtual Parent-Teacher Conferences

Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Preparing for parent-teacher conferences can be overwhelming under typical circumstances.  Preparing for virtual conferences is a whole new adventure.  But, rest assured you can use the conference forms you've used in years past for virtual parent conferences, too!

parent conference glow and grow conference form

For the purposes of this blog, I will be referencing my Editable Parent Teacher Conference Forms (pictured above) however, you can use these tips with any PowerPoint file. 


Getting Started

To be best prepared for your parent meetings, you'll want to write  (or in this case type) a conference report for each student.  I like to use the Glow & Grow form from my conference pack for the beginning of the year in kindergarten.  This report form gives parents lots of positives and areas they can help to work on at home. Once you've created a conference report for a student, you can save it as an image file (JPEG or PNG) or PDF file.  This will allow you to share the form with parents via email and by sharing the screen in a Zoom call. 


How to Set up Your PowerPoint

So how do you do this?   It isn't too difficult, I promise!   First, because you will be making changes to the file, start with file-save-as and rename the PowerPoint.  


screenshot to show how to save and rename your powerpoint

Next, choose the form you want to use and then delete all the other slides in the PowerPoint.  


screen shot to show how to duplicate PowerPoint Slides

Then you will need to duplicate the slide you choose to use.  To duplicate the slide, click on the slide you want to duplicate, then choose edit-duplicate.   Duplicate as many times as needed so you have a blank form for each student in your class. 

Then, type up a conference report for each student in your class.   Include relevant academic information and social/behavioral information.  In kindergarten, both are very important to parents.  If you have been remote teaching, I know that social and behavioral skills may be difficult to comment on.  Try to focus on their participation, enthusiasm, etc. 

Once your reports are complete, you're ready to export to a different file type.  PDF files are easy to share and sometimes images (JPEG or PNG) are easier to upload to apps like Seesaw.  The file type is up to you.


How to Export your PowerPoint to a PDF

Screen shot to show how to export file to a PDF
screenshot to demonstrate how to export a PowerPoint to a PDF

When your reports are complete, you are ready to save and export them.  To save the files as a PDF, choose file-export and then set the file type to PDF (this is the default on my version of PowerPoint).  Make sure to save the file in a location that you will be able to find.   Next, you will want to save the pages of your PDF individually so you are able to send reports to families without breaching everyone's confidentiality.   


How to save large PDF as individual PDFs

screen shot to show how to save pdfs as individual files

Getting single page PDFs from your large PDF is fairly simple.   You can use this free (once per hour) website:  freepdfcoonvert.com/split-pdf and upload your PDF.  First you upload your PDF.  Then choose As separated PDF and click the green Split PDF file. Then you can download your files.  You'll need to rename them and then you'll be ready to share them with your families. 


How to Save Individual PDFs on a MAC

screenshot to show how to open a PDF in preview

If you do not want to use the website, this way is a bit more time consuming, but it works.  On a MAC, you'll need to open the PDF using Preview NOT Adobe.  


screen shot to show how to save a pdf as individual pdfs


When you open the PDF in Preview, you'll choose file-print and when the print screen comes up, you'll need to choose the page you want to save, and then in the lower-left corner, you'll select save as a PDF.  


how to rename pdf files

Then you can name the file your student's name and choose a location to save it.  You'll repeat these steps for each student. 


How to Save Each Page as an Image

If you want to save the pages individually as images, you can choose file-export-and then choose your files type JPEG or PNG.  For this, either file type will work.  


screenshot to show how to save PowerPoint as images


Choose a file name and location where you will be able to find the images.  I like to use my desktop.  Also, be sure to select save all slides and to set the height to 2999 to get the best resolution in your image. 


screen shot to show how to rename files


When you open the folder with your images, you'll need to rename each image to your students' names.  To rename the image, right-click, and choose rename.   Now you have images that you can attach to emails to send to your families.  You can upload these to Seesaw or Google Classroom, too.  


Now you are all set to share your conference reports at your virtual parent-teacher conferences.  Hopefully, this helps them to feel a little bit more "normal".  


Best wishes for stress-free conferences!


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