Saturday, August 22, 2015

Parent Communication: The Good, the Bad, and Everything Else!

Let's face it: communication with families . . . it can make or break your school year! Although this is  a repost, it's a good one as we start out new year! (And if you're anything like me, I need to reread things several times before the information actually sinks in!) Linking up with my Sharing is Caring bloggy buddies to share ideas all about parent communication!

Being proactive in parent communication makes for a much easier year! After 28 years, here are 4 Tried and True Teaching Tools I can't teach without! (I used to manually cut out clipart and glue to hand-written class letters/updates before copying on the purple ink ditto machine. . .)
Class Dojo
Another great feature about Class Dojo is that you can share and have access to other teachers and classrooms at your same school site. My 4th grade partner and I have access to each other's classes because we departmentalize for Social Studies and Science; our students know that regardless of which class they are in, we uphold the same standards and same accountability.
Sign Up Genius
Sign Up Genius has made my life SO much easier!! I use it when I need parents to sign up to bring items, to schedule conferences, to schedule field trip drivers, parent volunteers. Think of a school purposes Evite. It's simple to set up and use (even for a non-techie, like me). Parents can change their sign ups and trade slots with other parents. The best feature is that it will automatically send a reminder email out to parents, so no more forgetting!
 I don't know about you, but my email inbox often overwhelms me so I may not always read every email as carefully as I probably should  (that could also be because I have too many email accounts, all for various purposes!) I do, however, read my text messages on my phone because they are usually short and immediate. Remind is a FREE website and app that allows you to send reminder class text messages to parents. A couple of great features: you can schedule future messages, and parents cannot reply, nor will they have access to your phone number.
Shutterfly
 I have no idea how to set up a website (I hear it's easy, but when it's been explained to me before, my eyes start to glaze over. . .), but Shutterfly makes it simple to communicate with families! As a working mom myself, I appreciate advance notice of events, as well as I love seeing what my kids are doing during the school day. I always have a camera in hand, so my kids' learning activities are always documented. (I'm a scrapbooker, if you didn't already know this about me!) I encourage parents to look at class photos with their child; visually seeing activities makes for concrete talking points! The calendar feature sends reminder messages for upcoming projects and events. While I don't post daily homework (I expect my students to keep track of this independently), I do post long-term assignments and helpful files and websites. Shutterfly also has sections for class updates and journal entries. Whenever parents have questions now, I refer them to our website. There's even an app parents can download, so they can check class happenings on the go!

How do you communicate with your families? For more awesome tips on parent communication, visit my bloggy buddies below!


2 comments:

  1. Class Dojo what a great way to involve parents. So important to do this. Also love the use of Shutterfly to communicate by pictures. As we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words. Love it.

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    1. Shutterfly is definitely one of my favorite tools due to the photo aspect! And easy for teacher to use!

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