Teachers from our school have developed a number of class blogs over the past year. They have evolved and I have written about this before. Many benefits have been highlighted and we have had great affirmation. The class teachers have created great connections with other classes around the world – sharing their learning. We have partner classes sharing class pets in Australia/New Zealand and Canada, we have QuadBlogging and we have sharing of learning with Chicago students.
One missing link was the original intention to get the parents involved in the blogs. Our blogs are windows into the classroom – such a great connection for a parent who can’t pop in and out in a physical sense. We have had some interest but not as much as we had hoped.
So, in an endeavour to increase this interaction we recently ran a Parent Information Night – We called it a Contemporary Learning Night as we wanted to highlight all practices that are employed within our school whilst we try to use ‘best practice’ in our teaching not just those involving ICT. The children presented to their parents and told them how they learn – as you can imagine, they had a captivated audience. Who doesn’t like hearing children speak ? As a teacher, one thing it is a little easy to forget is that some parents have had little or no contact with school since they were students and we all know that things have changed !
We then opened up for a “exploration” time with our class blogs and parents had an opportunity to acquaint themselves (for some for the first time) with the blogs and more importantly to iron out the mechanics of commenting. The obstacles of security measures, sign-ins, etc were explained. They were very keen and excitedly browsed the material and added comments.
The question now, is how to maintain this enthusiasm? We hope that the children’s enthusiasm will rub off and that we have now removed the ‘fear from ignorance’ aspect. Let’s see …….. step one, done.
4 thoughts on “Home / School connections”
Have you thought of doing a Family Blogging Month similar to Kathleen Morris. Seems likes it’s been very successful. Here is a link to it:
Hope this helps.
Kathleen also has afternoon visits from parents. Both good ideas to keep the excitement going.
Something else we trial is the asking of questions. If you elicit responses you are more likely to get comments.
Here we go …
Hi Sue and Celia,
Thanks for the mentions! I always stress to other teachers that parent participation can’t be left to chance. The more you put in the more you get out. But I think you both know that!
Thank you for this interesting post. I like the idea of an evening to help the parents learn more about blogging. We too have just begun to consider how to get our parents more involved with our class blog. We have decided to get the ball rolling with a class blogging afternoon. Next Friday we will be inviting interested parents to join us in the classroom for an afternoon of blogging exploration. We are hoping that our students will to some degree lead the proceeding by demonstrating how to create quality comments etc to their parents. Another initiative we have found to be very successful is to write a post which poses a question for the parents. I have included an example here http://year5rc.edublogs.org/2011/05/11/what-was-testing-like-for-you-in-primary-school/.