Good finds: Parent Night and Dismissal Checklist

I love reading other’s blogs! What great ideas you all share – I am humbled by the creativity!

What I’m digging: Fifth in the Middle’s blog post from yesterday, where she shared some of her favorite pins of the week. I must say, great choices, thank you for sharing! I had two main take aways from this post:

Take Away #1

Blog/Website for parent night is a great tool for organization. I’m all about being realistic with my to do and project list and this is definitely realistic! I’m already planning on doing a photo blog for the school year where I will document the 2013-2014 school year. Just a few minor adjustments to make compared to the photo blog I already planned on doing. I’ll basically take what I already have done for my start of the year parent night information in the past, digitize it, and place the information on my blog. Easy!

As the main bonus, I’ll be able introduce, attract and share the photo blog with parents much more easily.

The down side: I’ll have to choose a blogging platform. I was planning on using the built-in eChalk blog that parents already subscribe to. I’m not sure that I would be able to get the look and feel I want to through eChalk , so…it’s time to choose a new blog platform for the photo blog if I want to incorporate this parent night idea. I’m currently using for this blog. Should I keep using WordPress for both blogs for easy management? I don’t know that I’m completely sold on this platform yet though. I wish I would have done a little more research before starting this blog. It seems like a lot of educators are using blogspot. So should I move this blog to blogspot? It would be much easier to have the school photo blog and this blog up on the same platform for easy management.  Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Look at the Blog/Website for parent night from Ladybug’s Teacher Files:Parent Night Website

Too cute! Great job and thanks for the inspiration!

Take Away #2

I want {interpret: gotta have} this dismissal checklist!:
Dismissal ChecklistIsn’t it totally helpful AND cute?  My thoughts:

  • I need to make a digital checklist to incorporate into my Smart Notebook files.
  • My list may include:
    • Did  you write your homework in your agenda?
    • Turn in or put your work away in your binder.
    • Do you have all of your belongings?
    • Check for trash to throw away when exiting.
    • Remain seated until Mrs. Graham dismisses you!
    • Remember to make today a great day!

Taking a Risk

CC image Courtesy of Annafur on Flickr

CC image Courtesy of Annafur on Flickr

Facebook: most of us have an account.  I do, but I have to admit I rarely check it. When I do, it’s usually a quick scroll to see what’s going on or to see if something catches my eye.  With a quick scroll, there is only so much information that can be consumed. What is the easy and fastest to take in? Images. People are highly visual, we like things that are pleasing to the eye.

This brings be back to the article about Taking a risk…Flipping Parent Communication. I read(scan) TONS of blogs/articles daily thanks to Feedly, but this article really has caught my attention.  Parent communication is HUGE! I want to do it, I have to do it, and I need to do it.

What I’ll be Doing: Photo blogging

This is my risk and how I hope to flip my parent communication. I’m not much of a writer. If you are reading this blog, it’s probably pretty evident. One thing I can do: take photos (not that I’m an expert).  I love taking photos and documenting – I’m addicted! Okay, I’ll share my dirty little secret…I have 1000+ images of my dogs from the past year. I know I need to cut back or redirect my love of photo taking to my classroom!

Photo blogging is basically a journal through photos on the internet. My goal: capture 180 school days in photos. What will I be documenting? Anything really, except for  identifiable photos of students (I want to protect student privacy, information, etc..)  Maybe, if I’m feeling adventurous I’ll put up a video instead of a photo to change things up.
I’ll be adding short descriptions and writing about our awesome classroom adventures…some of which will inevitably wind up on this blog! 🙂 Ultimately, I want to give parents a little more insight into the on goings of the classroom so they feel more connected to their child and know how to help their child academically. By doing this, I’ll be able build a rapport with parents fast and maintain the connection throughout the year. However, the idea behind the photo blog is that I can take as much or as little time as I need for this project. I can write some too if I have time, but if not then I can simply upload a photo or quick video by itself.  There is no need for this project to be a burden. It’s suppose to be fun!

What I’ll be Using

To make sure my project isn’t doomed before I even begin, I want to mae sure I have the right tools. They can make or break a project.

1. eChalk and Edmodo

EdmodoThese two venues will be my mode of delivery.  eChalk has a built-in blog that I can use that is already attached to my school class page. As a school we  are required to use eChalk, I’ll just be taking advantage of the additional resources. Parents can subscribe to eChalk and get updates often. I didn’t think many parents actually looked at eChalk for homework, quizzes, and tests, but more parents subscribe than I thought.

Edmodo will be a new resource in my classroom this year. I’ve been planning on implementing Edmodo since the April. I LOVE Edmodo. I haven’t really had the time to look into and implement Edmodo until now. I don’t like committing to something unless I know that I can follow through on the commitment. Edmodo may be a more natural way to display the photos…plus it may improve student engagement as well as parent communication.

By using choosing these venues, I’ll be able to keep it simple. Both Edmodo and eChalk will already be used on a regular basis. Maybe I can up the ante at a later time with twitter, Facebook or something, but for now this will do!

2. Instagram

Instagram-logoThis one is a maybe. The plan for now is to use Instagram to ‘host’ the images that will be posted on the blog and Edmodo. It really depends on how much memory eChalk and Edmodo allow for pictures. I’d basically use this tutorial: . Even though the tutorial is for wordpress, the concepts are the same for other blog platforms.

3. Pixlr Express+

PixlrThis is an AWESOME camera iPhone app  with tons of effects and tools. This is by far my favorite has the best effects, overlays, textures, etc.. They have a desktop app that . I have a couple of back ups to use if needed…Camera Awesome, Aviary, and InstaQuote.


PicMonkeyI recently found out about this one. This may not be an application that I use often, but it’s definitely a very powerful resource. I mainly plan on using it to create photo collages, BUT it can be used for so much more than that!