Saturday, February 6, 2016

Parent/Student Communication #ConnectEffect

I used the book 'I Don't Want to be a Frog' by Dev Petty, great illustrations by Mike Boldt for the inspiration for my last lesson with K's.  I had about 1/3 of my students who needed just a little bit more time on their last project.  This was a fun, somewhat self-paced project that the rest of the class could work on as well as join in on when finished with their project.  More so, this was a great opportunity to show parents some of the learning happening in their students world. 

Take a look at the videos below.  At the top of the playlist is 4 or 5 "I Don't Want to be a Kindergartner" videos.  These were made in class while students worked on their art... well sort of made in class.  If you watch the videos, you will see there were several different ways that I tried to record these videos.  I probably put in an additional hour to complete the 5 classes in total.

What?  An hour to edit these videos?  What are you thinking? Let me tell you where this fits into my life and why I think this is important. 

This is going to take some math, get ready.  

One of my main objectives in my educational philosophy is to communicate with families... #ConnectEffect! At the beginning of the year I thought about what is important.  I want EVERY little person in my school to know that I love them, I'm excited to have the opportunity to know them, teach them.  In addition to that, I want every family to know that as well. How can I do that?  Here's where the math comes in...

Goal: I want to give one hour of my time to each student to let them know that I love them. 

1 hour
x 800 students
= 800 hours (outside of teaching)

That's just not going to work.

Goal (Draft 2): I want to give 5 minutes to every student to let them know that I love them.

5 minutes
x 800 students
= 4000 minutes 
/ 60 minutes in an hour
= 66 hours a year
/ 34 weeks in the school year
= 2 hours per week (outside of class)

That might work

Via my contract, I'm given 5 hours of prep a week.  I have before and after school (most days) and I need to prepare to teach sometimes.  Can I do 2 hours a week of communication?  Well, what can I do in 5 minutes to connect with each family?  Not much.  I can't even get out an email (although I write several a week to parents). 

OK.  Rethink this.  New math problem.

26 kindergarteners
x 5 minutes each
= a little over 2 hours per class
OK... now we are talking

If I can group my communication to a whole class, that allows for me to give about two hours per class in communication minutes.  That's where these videos come in.  If I record class activity, highlighting the happy learning going on in school.  Then send it out to the whole class (all gradient at once)  BAM!! Now parents know yes, their kids are important to me. We have fun learning.  That gives me enough time to record, do a little editing, upload to youtube, and send out an email to the whole class at once.  If I make a goal to do this for every class once (maybe twice) a year... I have reached my goal of communicating with parents and celebrating their students.  

So when I get the question, how do you have time for that?  Know that it's budgeted time. Time, I feel is important, so worth making time for.  Figure out your budget.  What can you commit to letting your students know you care.  Can you give them 5 minutes of your time?  

No comments:

Post a Comment