F is for.... Family Communication!

04 October 2015
Hello, teachers!

Family communication is vital to a student's success in the classroom. I try to start my family communication early in the year, to ensure that parents trust me and the environment that their child will be in for the next nine months.

The ways I communicate with parents include:

  • Early conferences
  • Google Forms
  • SeeSaw Digital Portfolio
  • Twitter
  • Weekly emails

Early conferences
Instead of conferences during November, I like to have all my parent conferences the first month of school. I find that this creates a sense of trust and openness between the parent and I. It is a different perspective than the usual conference. This early in the year, I do not yet know their child's strengths and weaknesses. However, I ask about their child's personality, interests, outside hobbies, responsibilities, and academic strengths and weaknesses from their parent's perspective. These conferences allow me to better foster and support a relationship with the student, and support his/her learning.

Google Forms
I send out a form the first month of school asking more questions about the student, as well as contact information for parents. These forms have been a lifesaver throughout the year when a student needs to call home. I am really terrible about holding on to paper forms/finding them in my file cabinet (I know.... that makes me sound like a slob...) but I am very anti-clutter. I have a horrible time with throwing things away to make sure that I have no clutter lying around my room. This, however, is not so helpful when I quickly need a parent's phone number. Well, hello Google Forms! All the names, numbers, and addresses are transported into a handy-dandy spreadsheet right at my fingertips :-)

SeeSaw Digital Portfolio

SeeSaw is my newest addiction. Basically, you can take a picture of a child's work and instantly upload it to their digital portfolio. Parents can request access to their student's portfolio. I especially love this app for group projects... no more tears on who gets to take a poster home!!! I can take a pic and instantly add it to the portfolio of each student. Oh my goodness, definitely check out this video. It will make you into a  SeeSaw convert! 


Twitter
I will not link my classroom Twitter to my blog for privacy reasons, however I try to post at least once a day to my school account. I do so many fun, cool, and innovative things in my classroom- I want to document them! Twitter allows parents (and administration) to instantly have a peek inside my classroom. It's also nice having administrators walking past in the hall and commenting on a fun or neat activity that we did. I have moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, and uncles following me, and I love how I can share this with everyone!

Weekly emails
I send out a Team Weekly. It only takes me a couple minutes a week to do, but it is really helpful to parents. I make it simple, and lay out all the tests/quizzes/assessments/events for the week. For example:

1. Timed test on Friday! Keep encouraging those kiddos to study their facts!
2. Word study quiz on Thursday.
3. Don't forget, book fair on Wednesday! Send your students in with money so they can find a few books that they love :-)

Out of everything, parents probably love these weekly emails the best. Everything is sent directly to them, and the information is right at their fingertips!



How do you foster parent communication in your classroom? I always love hearing new ideas, leave some of the awesome things that you opt for in the comment section :-)



2 comments:

  1. So many great ideas, Kelly! I will be sharing this. Love ideas that are *outside the box*.
    Carla

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yay, Kelly!! LOVE all that you do with technology in your classroom :) My teachers who are using SeeSaw are absolutely loving it too.
    Julie
    The Techie Teacher

    ReplyDelete

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