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Opening Up The Walls Of The Classroom: Aviva’s Thoughts

January 23, 2010

When I started teaching, it was always up to my students to let their parents know what they were doing at school. Since I have always taught Kindergarten or Grade 1, these discussions usually resulted in student responses such as, “nothing,” or “playing,” or “I can’t remember.” If I wanted parents to know about school events, I needed to call and tell them or send them a note. While I often did this, I knew that there were still big gaps in what parents knew about classroom activities and what was actually happening in the classroom.

The Internet has changed this though. Now I can tweet about daily activities, add classroom information to the Grade 1 Website, and blog about exciting classroom and school events. I love the fact that parents know about what’s happening in the classroom and can reinforce the skills learned in school at home too. Talk about the ultimate home-school connection.

This all became apparent to me last night though. I got a tweet from one of my students commenting on a Wordle that we made in class. It was apparent that she looked at this Wordle with her parents and discussed it with them too. Talking about our Wordle was a great way to review our read aloud activity from the week. This single tweet showed me that our classroom activity was no longer just an activity for the classroom.

I would love to know your thoughts on this topic too. Has the use of the Internet (and more specifically, the use of the Twitter account, website, and blogs) changed how connected you feel to the classroom environment? What else can I do to strengthen this home-school connection?

Aviva

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2 Comments
  1. Lucy permalink

    I am so glad you asked about that. When my kids started school, one of the hardest things was suddenly having the better part of their day become a black box. That is a problem for me because I didn't grow up here and so know nothing at all about this school system. I heard a lot of hype before my kids started school and it is only when I know what is going on can I judge for myself. By and large, I've been very pleased with what I see.
    One of my children comes home and tells me all about his day, but my other is definetly a “nothing”, “playing”, “I can't remember” kind of gal.
    Being more aware of what happened in her day from you gives my conversations with her way more detail than it would ever be if I didn't have that knowledge.
    I too completely agree that being aware of what she's learning does away with that distinction between learning we do at school and learning we do at home. It helps me to make it all more of a coherent whole sense of learning that happens throughout the day.
    The blog and emails are definitely the tools I use the most; call me a Luddite, but beyond that I start to get overwhelmed. I also love the Animoto videos and definitely the phone call I managed to catch last weekend.
    More ways to strengthen the connection? Well since I have taken a pause in volunteering, I find that I miss looking around the classroom. I used to learn a lot that way. Can't wait to get back!
    Thank you so much for the fantastic effort that you do for keeping that connection. I am learning as much as she is.

  2. That is so nice of you to say! I'm glad that you find this communication helpful in learning more about what is happening in your child's day. I love it that parents can really play a part in the classroom, and I'm so glad to hear that you feel part of the classroom too!

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