Your Back to School Night presentation sets the tone for the school year. I’ve taken a new approach to it. Since I am in a 1:1 classroom with Chrome Books, I wanted to use the Chrome Books as part of my Back to School Night Presentation to the parents. So I set up a separate Google Classroom just for parents!
In this Google Classroom, parents will have access to my Back to School Night presentation and other resources. It will stay there the entire year so parents can access resources and information. It will also give them a heads up to see how their own children use Google Classroom.
FIRST THINGS FIRST!
I will start out Back to School Night by introducing myself and giving the parents my contact information (email and school phone number). I will also have parents sign up for texting announcements through the remind app. This is a wonderful app that I use all year-long to inform parents about:
- picture day
- upcoming tests
- the information I’ve sent home in the Parent Communication Folder
- upcoming school events
- field trips
- and anything else I think important to let parents know about
I’ve blogged before about using remind and you can read about it here. It’s a very straightforward process to get parents to sign up. All they have to do is take out their phone and text a code to a special number and they’re signed up!
I will also make sure that the few parents who have not signed up with an account to ClassDojo have also signed up. ClassDojo is also good for letting relaying information to parents as messages or classroom stories. In the Parent Google Classroom, I will let the parents know I have put some resources there for them to read at their leisure about ClassDojo and how it works, FAQ, etc. That way I don’t use up valuable time explaining what many already know.
BACK TO SCHOOL SIGN IN ON THE CHROMEBOOKS
Each student in my district is set up with a Google account. I give each of my students their username and password on a laminated card. I have made duplicates of these cards for the parents to take home at Back to School Night. With the same username and password, the students and parents can access Google Classroom from home. I will have the parents log in with their child’s account information and then show them how to get to Google Classroom via the district website.
Once they’ve logged onto the Parent Google Classroom I’ve set up for them, there will be a link to the Back to School Night Google Slides presentation I have created. Normally, at Back to School Night I play this as a PowerPoint while I go over each slide. Why do that when they can just sit at the Chrome Book and go over the slides in Google Slides at their own pace. I will also have Spanish versions of the presentation as well for the non-English speaking parents who speak Spanish.
While they are going over the presentation, I will point out to them that their own children do the same at school! They access information using their Chrome Books instead of a book. I will explain how I create assignments and post them in Google Classroom for all subject areas. Google Classroom has a new feature that lets guardians sign up to receive emails about their child’s assignments and what has been turned in (or not!).
FILLING OUT A GOOGLE FORMS
I am also letting parents know that I will periodically have Google Forms set up to collect information. At Back to School Night, I have created a link to a Google Form they will fill out that collects basic information that I need in order to contact them during the school year. I already have this information, but it’s good to get an updated contact phone number and email just in case that information has changed since the child started school.
Finally, the last slide in presentation reminds parents to go ahead and sign up early for a parent-teacher conference which will be held the following month.
Parents will leave with a Back to School Flap book that contains information they need (class schedules, no school days, school supplies, etc) for their child to have a successful year and for the parents to stay informed.