Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Just Another Wednesday (without School)

It is another snowy Wednesday in southern Michigan. With so much missed school, I have been communicating with parents and students about learning opportunities. I sent "snow day" assignments home last night in anticipation of 6" of snow. Just in case students didn't want to work on their day off, I messaged parents with Remind101.

This is what the text looks like:
  • Mrs. Hojnacki's Homeroom

Don't forget to do snow day math pages. Read for AR goal. Currently for February (it is still snowing!) I'd rather be at school teaching.

Remind 101 is a free texting service. You sign up on their website. It assigns a texting number. You send a notice to parents (my note went with my Welcome Newsletter at Meet the Teacher night in August). Parents text the number to register for the service. Easy peasy!

My friend has sent 600 texts this year with it. I have sent a fraction of that number. I don't want to send so many that parents see it as a nuisance or as an intrusion into their lives. I use a webpage to communicate general information, and send newsletters and email for updates and current news.

You can even embed the Widget on your webpage. This is what mine looks like on my page.

Mrs. Hojnacki's reminders

  • 2/5
    ___________ Reading
    Read for AR. Work on Wax Museum project. Don't know about others, but I'd rather be at school teaching. Enough snow already!
  • 2/5
    Mrs. Hojnacki's Homeroom
    Don't forget to do snow day math pages. Read for AR goal. Currently for February 
What I really like about Remind 101 is that parents don't get messages from my own cell phone number. It assigns a texting number to my classroom. I have one number for my homeroom, and one for my second reading class. I am that room's main source of communication.

Remind 101 recently added a very useful feature. Previously, messages could only be sent to the whole group. Now you can send messages to partial groups, as few as three. How would this help? If you have just a couple of students that forgot to return a permission slip; three students haven't brought back signed progress reports, etc. I am a registered user, so I can send to as few as two students. The third notice would come to me.

They are looking for ways to improve the service even more so I think additional features will be added. This program is a great way to communicate with parents. I see how Remind 101 is a nice complementary system to other forms of communication.

How do you communicate with parents?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Marcia.

    I know how snow days can drive you crazy...we're suffering the same way here in central Ohio! I've never heard of Remind 101 but am glad you shared--I will definitely check it out. I teach middle school and many of my students have their own cell phones. I wonder if it would allow me to send homework reminders to them...


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