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Resources for my “Game Plan”

January 19, 2011

Looking at the NETS-T last week, I chose two specific standards to set my focus.  Now I have my “G”— I need to have or use some tools to take care or start the “A”!!!

I actually tried to start improving on the standard of communicating with both my students and parents…  I wanted to set-up a classroom blog instead of doing a standard weekly e-mail…  That idea came from the discussions last week blogging with you guys.  Unfortunately, I forgot my county blocks any site that has blogging or posting capacity.  This has been a frustration for me since starting this class.  My county block or limits access to so many things!!!  I did find out that through a program called “ANGEL”(a new system our county has subscribed too) you can set-up a class blog or communication board.  I am not sure exactly, but I plan on sitting down and playing around with it and seeing if I can set up some sort of communication between me and the parents. 

Another tool I can use for my communication standard is for my students to start a daily reflection.  Where they have to synthesize their day’s work.  When we think (reflect) on what we have learned, “we actually achieve a deeper understanding of the knowledge we have constructed” (Cennamo, Ross, Ertmer 2009 p.33).  I am hoping I can set this up through the ANGEL system I mentioned above.  An electronic journal of some kind would be much more effective, because of technology accessibility for some of my students, I may have to simply start with pencil and paper.  Do any of you have some suggestions or ideas on how to improve my communication with parents???

  Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach (Laureate Education custom edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Rodney Smith permalink
    January 20, 2011 6:51 pm

    I like the electronic journal idea. That is different. One suggestion that has worked with one of my colleagues in my school is that he gives extra credit to students whose parents make initial contact with the teacher.

    • January 22, 2011 10:37 pm

      That is an interesting idea…. Do you know exactly how she gives the credit?

      • Rodney Smith permalink
        January 23, 2011 9:10 pm

        He will give and extra 5 points towards a quiz or test…

  2. January 22, 2011 8:30 pm

    Chris,
    I understand the frustration of district blocked sites. Have you tried talking to your principal about the reasoning for a blog? Usually if you can get the principal on board and have him/her back you, you can get a site approved. The main thing they will be concerned with is student privacy. Middle school students can use first name and last initial of their last names, but that’s IF your district is okay with it. Otherwise, you may want to think about having students use their student ID, or first name and class period (i.e. John6) so you know who the student is. Even though you’ll want to keep their journaling blog private to class members only, it is always a good practice to use extra precautions in case of hackers. Also, you may want to inform parents NOT to use student names if they respond. Keep correspondence strictly to the assignments and postings. Encourage them to email you with personal concerns about their child.
    Shanna Falgoust

    • January 22, 2011 10:42 pm

      Thank you for your suggestions…. It sounds as if you have a blog. The suggestions given are excellent and I can use these ideas when I talk about approving a blog.

      Have you used a blog in your classroom?

      • January 23, 2011 10:17 pm

        Yes I have! Also, being a technology teacher, and exploring ways to engage students on the computer and Internet, I have had many dealings with our technology department in an effort to gain access to resources for my students.
        Shanna

  3. January 22, 2011 8:35 pm

    Chris,
    I find this a common frustration at districts; blocking sites. Have you tried to submit a work order to the tech department for access to a blog site? If so, and that didn’t work, see if you can get your principal on board with your idea. Remember, the main concern they will have is if the blog you use has security features in place for student privacy. Even though you may be able to make a blog private to users only, you may still want to have students only use their first name and class period (i.e. John6) so you can recognize the student. This is a good practice in case of hacking into the site. As for a parent blog to keep them informed, be sure to encourage them to keep correspondences geared to assignments, etc. Encourage them to email you if they have concerns about their child.
    Shanna

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