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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

One Goal This Year

This year I am redoubling my efforts to communicate with parents.  In the past, I have always emailed or called home if there was a problem or if something spectacular happened, but it was not even close to a regular routine for me.  I tweeted out some of the happenings in our classes, had the students tweet out examples of their learning and wrote the occasional blog post.

I want this year to be different!

I started the first day of school with a goal of at least 5 positive emails home that were student specific and included at least a couple details that were specific to their son or daughter so it wasn't a form email being sent home.  At first it was a task that I wanted to include in my routine.  Now it is so much more.  On several occasions this year, I have been having a down moment or a moment of frustration with my colleagues and I've consciously chosen right then to write the emails.  It completely changed my day around!  I now crave celebrating my students every day!  I am constantly on the lookout for positive examples of how their son or daughter is being a leader or how they have improved in class or a light bulb that finally went off as they "got it" after a brief or long struggle.

As of this blog post, I've sent out 127 emails.  Some days I get on a roll and send out more than 5, but 5 is the minimum.  I've only received about 20 responses, but those 20 have always made me smile as the parents get a look into the successes of their son or daughter in school.

I have also included a @smorepages for each class so the parents can get a peek into what we are doing and the projects that they have completed.  The projects that are linked into the smores right now are not my typical project because in essence they are a recipe since it was only on a Google Slides where they had to show evidence of how the terms/concepts relate to their lives.  I like to start off with this type of project so that the students can get used to using the Chromebooks and utilizing GAFE before we dive into more diverse projects.

Here are the links to the Smores:

https://www.smore.com/68rmh
https://www.smore.com/999p3
https://www.smore.com/35thc
https://www.smore.com/2ezqn

It is my goal to keep emailing parents with positive feedback and to keep these Smores up to date.

Will you help hold me accountable?

2 comments:

  1. Such a valuable post! #goodcallshome and emails home to share good news are huge. So many parents only hear from us when there's a problem at school and initiatives like yours are a great way to inexpensively flip that expectation. Shouldn't our families be excited to hear from us? When they see the school on caller ID or in their inboxes, their gut reaction should be anticipation of joy, not anxiety.

    I do wonder if there's opportunity with the smores to afford students more ownership (and relieve yourself of the extra work!). Perhaps a rotating class job could be to take charge of class PR by sharing what we learned that day with parents. Since you know I love Badges, maybe successfully managing class PR for 3 different days earns the Class PR Badge (and maybe that unlocks opportunity to job shadow at a PR firm...but I digress)

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  2. Funny you should mention giving students a voice in the Smore. As I was making them, I was thinking I should have a student help me so it is from their perspective not mine. That is on the horizon!! Thank you for keeping it present in my mind!

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