In addition to information sent home in nametags, I use several different technology tools to keep parents informed of class activities and events, as well as to share classroom learning activities. My goal is to reach all parents in a way that is beneficial and convenient, which varies from family to family. All of these are 100% free, 100% optional, and you can use as many or as few as you would like. However, I strongly encourage everyone to participate in at least 1 method of electronic communication. I use Google Forms throughout the year for various parent communications, including scheduling conferences and to RSVP for special events, and send out links to the forms electronically. The tools currently used are:
- Remind – This service allows you to receive text message reminders and announcements through any text message capable phone. For those concerned about security, I will never see your phone number and you will never see mine. I can send announcements to all parents at once, and can also have individual conversations with parents just like regular text messages. To join, simply text the message @mshayward to 81010. There is also an app available for both Android and iPhone devices. Please note that if you change cell phone numbers during the year, you will need to sign up again with the new number. I am not able to add or change numbers on my own.
- SeeSaw – SeeSaw is a free app that allows me to build digital portfolios for students to share pictures, videos, and other examples of classroom activities. Each child will have their own digital “journal” to add to throughout the year! Pictures and other items can be added to individual children’s journals, although some items will be shared to all journals. I will also use this tool to share reminders and announcements with parents, and can also message individual parents. However, unlike Remind (which sends a text message), you need to have the app to use Seesaw. Watch for more information to come home about this exciting learning tool with directions for setting up your free parent account!
- Facebook™ – Our class has a Facebook™ account, listed as ‘MsHaywards Class’, which will be used to share classroom events/activities. Only Facebook™ users who have been approved as one of our ‘friends’ will be able to view our Facebook™ page. This page IS NOT open to the public and can ONLY be viewed by other school employees and parents associated with our class. To get access to our Facebook™ page, simply send a friend request. In addition to our private class page, there is also a public school page for Watkins Early Childhood Center. Please note that NNPS has an opt-out policy for social media. If you do NOT want your child’s picture used on district, school, or classroom Facebook™ pages, you must opt-out in writing. Otherwise, it is assumed that we can post pictures/videos of your child.
- Email – I maintain an email list to periodically send out reminders and other information. I can also send digital copies of our weekly newsletter and other information for those that prefer an electronic copy. Please note that only items specific to our classroom (not whole-school communications) can be emailed, so there is still a need to check the nametag daily. Click here to join my email list!
Hopefully you will find these tools beneficial for keeping up with classroom activities and information. If you have any questions, please let me know!