Friday, 6 February 2015

Dear Parents: Reinforcing Home-School Connections

In our #WeirdTBC "He's the Weird Teacher" Book Club meeting last night, we talked about working with parents and making sure that home and school are connected effectively. As I'm sure many other teachers do, I have parents every year tell me that they don't know what is going on in the classroom, as their children don't communicate clearly with them. I work really hard to make sure families have lots of opportunities to be part of life in EPCOTclass, but I wanted to remind both students and their parents.

Today, my students and I wrote this letter to their parents:

Hello to our lovely parents,

  This is EPCOTclass, the Gladiator Snails, comin' at you live from the Room 209 carpet! We are all wanting to send you a message together.

  Sometimes when we get home from school, we're tired. We are tired because all day long, we work, we prototype, we adventure, we explore, we imagineer, we have to listen to Shauna (who sometimes sings annoying songs), we design, we snuggle degus, we read, we type, we do Math, we dance, we Tweet, we take pictures, we plan, we learn and we eat. So, lovely parents, when we come home, and you say, "What did you do today?" and we say "Nothing", we are lying. 

  We might not mean to be lying, but we are not giving you the full story. However, you are welcome to come in to our class any time. If you can't make it into our class, you can still feel like you're here. 

  Here is how:
-you can look on our blog to see what we have been doing every single day by reading our "What Stuck With You Today?"
-you can look at our blog to read what we're up to in the week 
-you can look at our Twitter account and see pictures and stories. We tweet and . You do not have to have a Twitter account to see our tweets!
-you can ask me "Did you have to Check Yourself" today? Then, I'll tell you about my behaviour
-you can ask me if I was at a red, yellow, green or neon green light in the morning, middle block and afternoon block. Then, I'll tell you about my understanding of what I learned today
-we all look ahead in our Daybook and calendar and know what is coming up. You can ask me, "What are you excited about?"
-you can look at our calendar on our blog
-when we are hanging out at home, you can ask me to read aloud to you and use my Reading Comprehension strategies to show you what I am thinking
-when we are driving in the car, you can ask me Math Questions, like practicing adding, subtracting and even times tables
-when we are driving or walking, you can ask me about directions - I know north, south, east and west (and even things like south-east)
-you can ask me what it means to be an Experimental Prototype Classroom of Tomorrow.

  Here are some more reminders about how to connect home and school.

  We love hearing from our families and friends. Please consider leaving comments on our blog, tweeting at us, sending us an email to Shauna's account. Shauna is excited because from now on, we can never tell you that we did "Nothing" at school.

  Darling parents, we are so happy to be a classroom community. We have so much fun together.

Your children (scribed by Shauna)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Shauna,

    Well I haven't ever forgotten about our #comcon commitment. I still try to get around to everyone's blog but it usually takes me a few months to do it. I'm sure glad I have come to yours as this is perfect. I appreciate how you have been creative with communication.  Keeping the communication lines open is so important and I love how you have so many ways built in to let parents know what is going on.  And the letter your class put together is such a creative and kind way of reminding parents (who are all busy) to peek in.

    One thing I have done has been to send home a QR code to this video ( ) on my course outline as to why I flip my class and how it should work. I never did get much response but I know that it is there when parents are seeking.