Thursday, April 8, 2010

Where to go from here?

In regards to my GAME Plan I think I am going to start focusing on how to collaborate with my colleagues as well as include parents into what's going on in the classroom. Since we are nearing the end of the year I plan on putting this all into action for the new school year. This gives me time to really think about how I want to go about this new part of my plan. It would be create to collaborate with colleagues online outside of school. I currently do this with a small group pf my colleagues using google docs to write the new curriculum using UBD or UDL as its known through this course. Other than that I really want to engage parents into what is going on in my classroom and with my students. I was thinking of creating a classroom blog page or webpage where I can display work and post comments or topic discussions. It's hard to develop relationships with parents because they work and are very busy and don't always have the time to go to school. Involving them through technology might be more flexible and less stressful for them and myself. Not sure which way I plan on going but I'm definitely going somewhere with this for teh coming school year! Any ideas or suggestions would be great!


  1. Jennifer,

    Congratulations on your intent to involve your parents in your classroom through the use of technology. Working on that involvement for the next school year is an admirable strategy. It will give you the necessary time to truly get it all together and to have it running from the very beginning of the next school year.

    We have a common goal. I will serve as Parent Advocate for the school district in which I live and will have a parental web page to share ideas and opinions and on which I will be able to get feedback from the parents. Currently during my down time,(I have very little down time), I search for information on parental involvement. Two places that I have found very informative are the school district's website in the parental involvement piece that is mandated for all districts and the NCLB Law that has a parental involvement piece. These will help you to formulate ideas for your upcoming goal.

    Good luck, Jennifer!

  2. I applaud your desire to invite and involve parents. In the past, I have had a class web page, discussion forum, and seperate e-mail & AIM for after school contact for student and parent use. Sadly, my experience was not so great. Only a few parents were involved; however, those that were greatly appreciated the extra effort. Students only participated in the forum when it was a required activity. This year, my school has subscribed to edline and linked it with grade quick. Although all parents are not involved, it has had a much greater impact being adopted school wide, over my individual attempt the year before. Edline allows educators to create their lesson plans online,and automatically align with the state content standards. In addition, parents and students can be given a user ID and password to access all classes and a calendar of school activities as well. Administration, special educators, and after school coordinators can also view teacher lesson plans online, which greatly helps with providing additional support and assistance to those who need it. It increases the amount of accountability for the students, as online access to assignments and reminders provides no excuse of the old faithful "I forgot." My school also uses a phone system that can automatically call the students selected to provide pre-recorded reminders for various purposes. If several teachers in your school would be interested in creating their own web page, I suggest that you take a look at a tool like Edline. It is much easier for students and parents to keep up with one web address for the entire school, rather than access information for each individual class. If you do decide to creat your own page for next year, I encourage you to offer a few bonus points or to make parent sign-up a small grade.

    Good luck!

  3. Jennifer,
    I agree that we must get involved in the education process. For the first time this year, I passed out an email address and my cell phone number to my parents. I must say that about a third of the parents contact me by cell phone and no one has used email to contact me. Parents communicate with me by way of text message, which is better than nothing. I also think that a class website should be used to inform parents of homework and projects due dates. A faq's page would be very useful for families.

  4. Jennifer,

    I may "borrow" your idea of communicating online with campus colleagues to enhance curriculum. We so often refer to the global aspect of educationa/social networking that the most basic use escapes me so thanks for the idea. A class webpage and accompanying blog is a great way to bring parents and other school stakeholders into the fold. Online communication with parents is typically limited to email messages detailing student challenges. Your post and collegue comments have inspired me to institute something similar next school year at whatever New Orleans campus I am fortunate enough to land. I will also have to take many traditional communication means to increase parent involvement as technology and Internet usage in general is an unaffordable novelty for many households in the community in which I'll be serving. It will be somewhat of an adjustment after delving into onlin communication but necessary. Fulfilling diverse needs extends far beyond diversifying instruction. In my last school district there was also an application in place (Parent Connection)that allowed parents to view students grades and even have the system alert them (by phone or text) if there child's progress fell below a chosen average. This combined with a class blog and/or wiki will help parents successfully monitor student progress and not just see the result of an objective when it is essentially too late to help them achieve it. If your district does not have one such as Parent Connection, it may be something to check into.


  5. Collaboration with colleagues and friends can be done through many sources. Have you considered using Skype? I use Skype for on-line text chat, video chat, and phone, with colleagues and friends. It has been the next best thing to talking in person, especially when working through technology issues for course work. Facebook has been nice for social connections with colleagues.

    Good luck to you in your plans.