I always tell the parents of my students that one of the main reasons I keep a blog is to let the parents know what we do at school. All you parents out there, how many times have you asked the question, “What did you do at school today?” Only to be answered with, “Ummm I dunno.” I don’t have kids, but I was a kid once and clearly remember driving my dad crazy with my “I dunno,” answer.
In this Alison Anderson lists 10 ways to help keep parents in the know. I feel inspired by a few of the ideas. She suggests starting a classroom instagram account. She suggested assigning a student to be the “instagramer” for the day. I really like this idea and know that students would enjoy this role. I have thought about doing this before but will definitely do this next year. For any teacher considering this, be sure to obtain the proper permission for photographing and sharing images of students. At the beginning of every school year, my district sends out permission slips for students to be photographed. In addition to the permission slip, I also tell parents about where I use the photos and give parents the option of opting out (so far no one has).
Anderson also suggests setting up a classroom youtube channel. Students can make videos and post them to the web. I really like the idea of having a weekly round up. Doing something like this encompasses many learning standards (think listening and speaking and writing). I’m thinking this will also be on my to do list next year!
The last tip I’ll discuss is making iMovie trailers for upcoming school or classroom events. I really love this idea. For those of you that don’t have an Apple computer or simply want to try something else, I’d like to introduce you to Animoto. Animoto is a website for creating videos. You can set up a free educator account. I think its very intuitive and easy to use. I created a video as a hook for a large project I was starting with my class. You can watch it by clicking here.
After reading her article, come back to this post and let me know what you think!