Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather. Research says that good communication between teachers and parents contributes to a student's educational success. We all hope to have a fantastic school year with great parent communication. This post, along with this cutting edge (and FREE) application, will pave your way to a wonderful year!!!
Parent Communication - Your Key To A Successful Year!
How I Got Started!
I didn't believe it myself! A free app that was going to change the way I communicate with parents? All I knew is that it had to be easier and less time consuming than what I was doing before! When my students were at lunch I was frantically writing notes to parents. If I wanted to keep student tests on file I had to make photo copies so that I could send them home. If there were special moments in class that I wanted to share I was making a trip to the local corner store to get photos made. All of this nonsense stopped the moment I downloaded the Remind App! (Remind: Safe Classroom Communication formerly remind101)
The Set Up:I was amazed at how easy remind was to implement. After downloading the app onto my phone I received a message from remind. The message gave me instructions on how to have parents join my "class". They simply text a class code to a certain number, fill in basic information (like their name so I know who they are), and they are done! Their information stays private and so does mine! Within one day all of my parents were signed up! I sent home the letter that you see below. Please feel free to use it to help you!
These are the reasons why you should use remind:*most everyone has a phone
*communication through text message is easy and private
*you can type or dictate your message
*you can follow classes for ideas on how others use remind
*you get immediate responses! (No waiting for the folder to be returned)
*you choose if you want an email, text, remind message or a combination
*business hours can be set so that you won't be contacted before or after certain times (the parent is notified about this via friendly message)
*when you go to send a message the app will ask you if you really want to send a message (if outside of business hours)
*you can send individual and/or group messages
*group messages can include information on field trips, snow days, report cards, test days, assignments due etc.
*individual messages can include pictures of activities, test results, encouraging messages etc.
What It Can Do For You!
This application can be used to keep in contact with parents and it can also be used to remind students that have the application downloaded. I am a primary school teacher and I have enjoyed how easy it has been to communicate with parents. If you teach upper grades you can communicate with students on this app and remind gives you and the student user guidelines to keep communication safe and appropriate.
The parents that I worked with last year immediately responded with messages of, "I love this app!" They started communicating with me on a more regular basis too. It made it so easy for them to get on their phone and send me a quick message on their way out the door.
Here are some examples of actual correspondence in my classroom:
Using the remind app I could quickly take a picture of a student test and send it to their parents. No need to make photo copies to keep in a file. The parents were so thankful to have quick feedback. I could take the picture and send it from school or home!
My class was fortunate enough to watch the life cycle of butterflies! Of course my students would go home and tell their parents all about the changes they were seeing in our butterfly house but the pictures I would send brought their stories to life! This picture is from our butterfly release day. All of my friends were waving goodbye to the butterflies. I loved that I was able to share this moment with the parents on remind.
Our School has a sock hop every year. At one point my class took a break from dancing to have a picture taken. I was able to share this fun photo with all of the parents!
During indoor recess this little friend was so proud of herself after she used Lincoln Logs to build this amazing little house! She said, "I wish my mom could see this!" I thought for a moment and remembered..... I CAN SHARE IT WITH YOUR MOM! I took this picture and sent it off right away.
What Will You Do?Have you ever heard of Remind? Do you know anyone who uses the app? What are the things that you love about it? What challenges have you come across? Will you download the app after reading this post? Please let me know what you think about it! I can't wait to hear!!!
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