Only 10 Minutes to Talk? SMARTS Tool for Managing Parent-Teacher Conferences

It’s parent-teacher conference time! Like most teachers, you face a dilemma—so much to share, so little time.

The Know Your Student Venn Diagram provides a quick and easy way to summarize student learning strengths and challenges, keeping the conversation focused on supporting individual learning styles.


  • Complete the Know Your Student Venn Diagram for each student based on your observations and what you know about them.
  • The list of skills and content areas on the diagram are suggestions; feel free to add your own.
  • Be sure to comment on both academic, social-emotional skills, and executive function aspects of learning (e.g., organization, planning and prioritizing, getting started on tasks, setting goals, leadership, class participation, comfort taking risks and making mistakes, working with others, etc.).
  • Choose one strength to discuss in detail.


  • Share the diagram with parents, highlighting 1–2 strengths and 1–2 challenges.
  • Use the diagram as a starting point for discussion with parents so you can set common goals for the school year and work toward these goals with similar expectations.