Cover Your Parent Communication Bases
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
Emails, Class Messenger, Website, and Blog . . . OH, MY!
Keeping the lines of communication open between home and school is important and I have several tools that make the job easier. Since each tool serves a different function, let's break them down so you — and your parents — get the maximum benefit.
This tool is used for quick, condensed messaging such as general reminders, homework post notifications, snapshots of individual children at work (sent to specific parents), or from a live event at school. The efficient nature of this app allows me to instantly communicate with all, some, or only individual parents with (literally) the click of a button on my iPad! Today I instantly uploaded photos and video from our fourth grade musical and pushed out a message with a link to our scrapbook within minutes of our performance. Check it out!
Usually emails are sent on a personal level to discuss something specific regarding a child. Whether it's a reminder from parents about after school arrangements, or a report from me on a child's success or challenge at school that day, this form of communication is thorough and specific. Occasionally, I'll send an email in conjunction with a Class Messenger notification or blog post to reinforce its importance and to make sure parents receive the information.
Our website is quite extensive, with numerous individual pages and rich information within each of those. For the most part, many pages on our site are fully loaded and are there for parent reference throughout the year (such as Classroom Tour or curricular overview). Read on for my TOP RECOMMENDATIONS for pages on our site that change and grow throughout the year!!
Our ROADSIDE SNAPSHOTS page is constantly changing, with photos being added throughout each trimester. I update parents (most likely via Class Messenger and/or blog post) whenever I add to or create new scrapbooks of our classroom travels on that page. See what we've been learning through a plethora of pictures!
Parents of my students are quite familiar with our OFF-ROAD RESEARCH homework web page. In the past, this page has been added to daily with homework assignments for the night. For another portion of the year, I posted weekly homework summaries on Mondays (or Tuesdays, if there is no school on Monday) for easy reference without the wait throughout the week. Now, we have a 1:1 Chromebook program, so I simply embedded a homework calendar that auto-updates each evening for student/parent updates.
Want a peek into our daily/weekly studies? Check out our CRUISIN' THROUGH CLASS page! Students use this page daily to access lesson information, activities, and collaboration opportunities. While this may not be updated daily, parents can get a quick snapshot of academic happenings and how 21st century learning is being integrated into their child's experience. Since we were awarded Google Chromebooks, this page has become an even more interactive, vital component of our daily endeavors.
Rather than using our class blog for general updates and reminders (I have Class Messenger for that!), our blog is a place for parents to learn! Curriculum details, tutorials on academic strategies or new classroom/home learning tools, narratives on important classroom events, suggestions for support and help at home, and MORE are featured on our blog. Parents approach our class blog the same way they would any blog they follow, reading for enjoyment and parental education.
When I post important parental information such as curriculum updates, tech tutorials, etc., I also provide an opportunity for parents to earn credit for parent participation in their child's education. Parents simply look in the blog post or blog sidebar for a note indicating they can earn DOJO points for their children by quickly commenting that they have read the blog and/or watched the video included.
I’m always searching for additional resources to aid in parent communication. Whether it’s a great teacher blog post, article, printable, or professional development book, the best way to stay on top of cutting-edge communication strategies is to keep reading and learning about the topic. Check out the collection of parent communication resources collected by Scholastic, as well as useful printables, including the freebie below!
How do you cover your parental communication bases?
I'd love to hear, so post your tips!
Thanks for reading, and see you next week!