Part of The 30 Goals Challenge 2011 and Cycle 7 of The 30 Goals Challenge: Make it Meaningful!
“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” – Jane D. Hull
Goal– This week find ways to seek ideas from parents to implement. Suggest ideas for others. Find ways to continue the dialogue with parents and listen to them throughout the year.
Every school needs a social media plan and guidelines. Check out how other schools use social media to inform parents. Here are two examples:
Have a VLE or LMS where students and parents can check grades, homework, see student work, be notified of important notices, and find important information. Discover more about virtual learning environments and learning management systems here.
Your virtual learning environment (VLE) should be easy to navigate, user-friendly, able to be translated, make good use of visuals and multimedia, mobile-friendly, protect the information and privacy of users, and provide necessary support and materials (possibly tutorials). Check out my young learner wiki, English Storytime, for ideas.
Engage parents by posting polls, recognizing various student news and achievements, posting announcements, sharing a calendar of events, sharing ways parents can contribute or volunteer, and having a way for parents to submit ideas, concerns and suggestions.
Parents can contribute to your podcasts, newsletters, blog, or vodcasts.
Recommended parent communication tools and apps- Remind, GAFE, Cel.ly, Class Dojo, and Smore. There are other platforms, but these have stood the test of time and are recommended by various teachers worldwide.
Google Apps for Education (GAFE) have incredible features for communicating with all parents. Create a form to gain parent information. You can copy and edit a template I started here.
Create emails or letters with Google Docs and translate with Google Translate.
One Google Doc add-on I use frequently is FormMule. This allows teachers to take the emails from a Google Form or Spreadsheet and send up to 100 emails a day quickly. You create a template and FormMule individualizes each email for each parent. This saves me hours. Find out more here.
Host parent workshops. Some suggestions for your workshop. Host with a group of teachers. Have a welcome bag with goodies. Many of the tech tools you use will provide you with bags, stickers, pens, and more. Start off with icebreakers. Let parents play with the tools and apps you will use. Be considerate of the parents’ time by feeding them and providing daycare (like watching a movie in another room with a fellow teacher or playing in a makerspace). Record the event for parents who could not make it. Follow up with parents about any questions or concerns.
Get parents to sign your Acceptable Use/ Responsible Use Policy (AUP/RUP). Find examples here.
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New to The 30 Goals Challenge? Each year, teachers worldwide aim to accomplish 1 to 30 goals that transform their teaching. Join the movement by accomplishing any goal from any of the cycles then letting us know through a blog reflection or status update on our Facebook community or on Twitter, @30GoalsEdu . At our official site, 30Goals.com, find all the goals, participant reflections, badges, and get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Classroom workbook.
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