I wanted to share with you all today one of my favorite strategies for parent communication… blogging.
Every year I set up a new classroom blog on blogger, and I use it to send out important notices to parents, reminders about upcoming tests, and even homework helpers. Not every parent checks in, but those that do love it. I have surveyed my class time and again, and hands down the blog wins on most favored form of communication with parents. Parents generally state that they like the blog because they have busy lives and can’t always get notices from school the traditional way. Most often they check the blog from their Smartphones. They also love that the blog has a translation button, that they can push and get everything translated into their native language. They do say that the translations aren’t always perfect, but they do help with getting a good idea of what is said on the blog. My administrators love the blog, because our teacher evaluation system in our state requires that you document that you notified parents of important goings on in the classroom, and while the blog is not the be all end all, it is a great tool and easy to document that you have tried to communicate with parents.
If you are interested in trying a classroom blog for yourself here are some tips for you for getting started.
First of all, you will need to choose a blogging platform. I use blogger (by google) because it is free and very easy to do. You can set one up by going to https://www.blogger.com/
You can set up your blog to only be seen by registered users by going to the setting tab and choosing “Basic” then “Blog Readers” Then “Private-Only These Readers”. When you are ready you can invite parents to sign in using their email addresses. Until then, only you will be able to see your blog, so play around and get it just they way you want.
Next you will need to decide what kind of information you want to have up on your blog. At first you may only want to have a home page where you post notices such as field trip reminders. My class blog has:
- Home page with student notices
- Spelling page with this month’s weekly spelling lists, and spelling homework grid
- ELA page where I highlight this month’s reading strategy and vocabulary
- Math Page where I post examples of problems from our current math unit and how to solve them.
- Science page where I list and define the vocabulary from our current unit in science
By the way, looking for some cute blogger backgrounds for your class blog? I have some on my site, but I also have to recommend my favorite blog designers shabbyblogs.com Their super cute blog designs are totally free, but some things say that they are for personal use only so make sure to check.