Leadership magazine May/June 2015 V 44 No 5 - Page 29

awesome has made our school culture even stronger. Daily sharing helps our parents know how to better support their children with Common Core math, which looks a lot different from when they were in school. Think about this: the New York Times doesn’t publish just once a month, once a week, or even just once a day; it has continuous updates throughout the day. Schools need the same. Businesses, news stations and even friends are constantly sharing during the day. Why should schools be any different? When thinking about Remind and Twitter picture a Venn diagram. The apps have similarities for usage, yet are unique on their own. Only parents who subscribe to your Remind account will receive messages. This allows them to be instantly and constantly connected to their principal. School leaders now can send their entire communities text messages about whatever they want, and they should. Communication is key to student success. Information is key to parent understanding of all the profound change we have in education. • Teachers take photos of anchor charts in math so parents can ask their children, “Tell me five ways to put together these numbers.” Any time, any place The amazing value of the Remind app really hit me two years ago, after I’d been piloting it with my PTA executive board for a few weeks. I’m known to ride the tricycles in this writing, our @jseroadrunners feed is just shy of 9,000 Tweets. We want parents to know what’s happening in classrooms with Common Core. The more they know, the better they can support their child. We have 26 teachers and 520 students, and being visible in every class every day is my main priority. You can’t know where you need to go if you don’t know where you What we share Here’s a sample of some of the tips for parents we share daily via Remind: • As your child reads with you, think out loud with them, saying things like “I wonder…” “This makes me think about…” “The funny thing is…” • Everything can turn into a story – waking up, going for a walk, being stuck in a long line. Have your child tell you a story, with details. • Ask your child about the current book they’re reading. Has something surprised them? Has something confused them? Any other fun details? • What is your child reading this week? What made her choose that book? Why does she think she’ll enjoy it? Have your children tell you more. • Taking turns reading with your child is fun. For example, “You read a page, I read a page.” Always ask questions for deeper conversation. • From one of our teachers: “Sneak preview of this week’s learning goals presented today during our morning meeting.” “We feel it’s important to tell our story at school. Information is key to parent understanding of all the profound change we have in education. Sharing the daily nuggets of #eduawesome has made our school culture even stronger.” our kindergarten playground, and during one ride I remembered there was a message to send out. I simply pulled over on the tricycle (during kindergarten recess), pulled out my iPhone, sent the message to my group, and went back to riding. At that moment I realized how simple and effective this tool was. I had to use Remind with our entire community. Twitter works differently than Remind and is our daily sneak peek into classroom life at John Swett Elementary. Twitter is our yearbook; it connects our parent community, it connects our teachers throughout the day in a way that wasn’t previously possible; it connects all the schools in our district; it connects our district office personnel into daily life. As of are. Organized workflow is the key to success. Principals often believe they don’t have the time to visit classrooms every day. The thing is, once you use these tools, you will have more time. Being a mobile principal and connecting with kids in the classroom builds stronger relationships for everyone. What our school community says Our survey results show our community loves our Twitter feed and Remind messages. Here’s some of what they have to say: • “It’s amazing getting a glimpse into what my kids are learning in school.” • “Love being able to see what’s going on daily at school.” • “We don’t follow on Twitter, but love that they’re all embedded on the school website.” May/June 2015 29