I have found that the best form of communication with parents in my classroom has been the app called Remind. It is simple, easy and secure. This is especially important for me as most of my children are bused and I do not have the chance to communicate with parents before and after school like I have been able to do at previous schools.
Why use it?
Children in young grades have difficulty retaining what they have learned during the day. I personally have two have older children (16 & 13 years of age) and I had always wished I was able to have a glimpse into their day as they were horrible at communicating to me at the end of the school day. As a result, sharing our learning with parents is extremely important to me.
Families can choose which way they want to receive the communication. They have the options of getting the app for their phone, receiving messages as texts or receiving them as emails. I currently have 96% of my parents participating. This is great considering there are always parents who choose not to read the mail from the school regardless of how it is sent home!
When the day is done, I am able to send home “snap shots” of what we have learned and this allows for parents to have conversations with their kids about what they learned about. I am able to send home photos of work, provocations and presentations so that parents feel like they are a part of our classroom culture. This is a huge bonus for me.Many times parents have listened to the stories from their kids and wondered, “What do they mean?” or “What are they talking about?” Then, later that day they will open their app, read the message that we posted about and realize, “Wow! They did learn about ___ today!” and can take their previous conversation to the next level.
Several parents have had their children move on to other grades and almost insisted that their new teacher get Remind to keep them in the loop about what is going on in their class. During parent/teacher interviews all the parents in our class state that they appreciate the communication. Several rave on a regular (weekly) basis that they love receiving the messages to encourage communication with their children.
Like Twitter, it only allows for short communication, which is fast and convenient for me. It is exclusively controlled by me, except for parents leaving, so I have the reassurance of privacy. I have the choice to allow for conversations to flow. I personally have disabled this option as I respect my privacy for time with my family and choose to keep communication with parents limited at school. Click here to read a blog post of how Remind can replace planners in your classroom!
I always make sure to document all my communication with my parents. I have found that keeping a well documented tracking of all communication really helps prevent miscommunication with parents. Click on the image to see the communication log that I use in my classroom!
Have you ever used Remind? Did you like it? Hate it? What do you use as your main source of communicating with families?