For a long time now, I have been thinking of ways that I can better communicate student learning with parents. This term has given me the opportunity to put some of these thoughts into action so I thought I would share some of them.
My students all have a blog. In it, they write once a week about something that they have been reading. They also have the opportunity to comment on the writing of others. It is hosted on the kidblog platform, which is easy to use and allows me to moderate both posts and comments. Our blog has had almost 20000 views over two years, and since it is not public, that means that my students or their parents have seen it that many times over the last two years.
Changes to our Report Card
For our second term this year we are piloting a few changes to our report card template. It has allowed me to spend time with my students talking to them about their strengths as a learner and to set goals for the coming term. For the first time in a long time there have been some elements of report writing that I have really enjoyed. Reports go out next Friday. I am looking forward to hearing feedback from parents.
One of the things that has made me most excited this term has been trying out a web based tool called Freshgrade. It allows me to and my students to create and update an online portfolio of their learning. We can share files, take and post photos and make comments about the learning that is going on in our classroom. It also has a gradebook component that allows me to share students’ assessment data with their parents. There are three easy to use ipad apps that tie the program together.
I am really excited about moving forward and growing even more in the ways I communicate student learning with parents. If you have any ideas or suggestions, I would love it if you commented so we could all learn together.