Parent communication has been a huge learning curve for me this year. Being departmentalized, parents have five different teachers sharing about their classrooms and expectations for students. Finally, in February, I feel like I have really hit my communication groove, and parents have become very responsive- yay! 🙂
So, how do I communicate with parents? Of course I utilize and love the basics – emails, phone calls, conferences, Infinite Campus, and weekly newsletters. I’ve also spiced it up this year with a class blog that focuses on what we are learning in the classroom, as well as, showing exemplary student work. I use a class Twitter page to share small moments or victories from the day, and Remind 101 to share after-school reminders with parents. Today, though, I want to share with you my newest venture…video mini-lessons!
So many times when meeting and talking with parents I’ve heard “We never did this when I was in school.” Families that are genuinely interested in helping their students with homework or to review for a test just do not have the ‘content knowledge’ that we expect in our Common-Core world. Hoping to bridge that gap, I’ve started creating weekly content videos that I add to our class blog and email home.
Before this week, I had been uploading the video from my iPad directly into the class blog/email, but with today’s Snow Day (#9, by the way), I opened my own YouTube channel. Over time, I’ll go back and add my older videos, but for right now, my latest video – Point of View is up and running!
- If students get home and need a re-teach, they have immediate and easy access to me
- Parents always have the opportunity to learn with their child.
- Families know the ‘language’ we are using in the classroom.
- Eventually, these videos will become student-centered as students will take the responsibility for creating them! I am so excited as we transition to this step and students can show what they know!
- Mapping – I make a list of the most important things for my students to know about the topic. If they went home to share about Point of View, what would I want them to share? I make a list of the learning targets, vocabulary words, and any anchor charts I want to share.
- Visuals – What do I want families to see? Honestly, NOT my face – ha. 🙂 I take pictures of any anchor charts, printables, or student work I want to showcase. In the video above, you saw some mini-posters I created in A Beautiful Mess and a class anchor chart.
- Script – I make a brief outline of what I want included in my video. I actually do write the entire thing out, but you definitely could!
- iMovie – Then, I add in my visuals to iMovie, and record my voice.
- Upload to YouTube!
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