Time Savers for Organizing the Classroom & Engaging families
Welcome to the first installment of Tech Thursdays -- a collaborative, learning exchange for Catholic educators to investigate new tools and to share best practices for teaching and learning. Today, we are discussing strategies for preserving a precious commodity for all teachers -- time. As we begin a new academic year, it is an opportunity to revisit our routines, past practices (and mistakes) and experiment with new ideas. Over time, we often develop best practices for managing paperwork, organizing materials, and for creating positive, faith-filled learning environments for all students. Yet, we can benefit from opportunities to expand our personal learning networks and to share ideas with colleagues. Here are some ideas for consideration....
- Streamline Communications
How do you intend to communicate with parents and families throughout the academic year? Through a newsletter? Classroom website? Emails? Informal gatherings such as bagel breakfasts or Taco Tuesdays? By developing a systematic channel for communication, families and students can come to understand the expectations for learning, current topics, and critical dates (e.g., assignment deadlines, homework cycle, etc.). Many teachers currently generate weekly or monthly newsletters for the classroom community. You can use a variety of tools to accomplish goal this goal such as traditional templates (e.g., Pinning Teacher's Classroom Newsletters or Newsletter Templates on Pinterest) or through digital tools like MailChimp. The biggest challenge with this mode of communication is that teachers needs to spend considerable time on both the layout and the format. And, then you need to write enough text to ensure that the newsletter looks professional and is rich in content. Classroom websites are another viable option for teachers. A website offers expanded capabilities for teachers; you can showcase current projects, highlight opportunities for extended learning, and even embed a calendar on the site. You also need to ensure that all of the pages are well maintained, up-to-date, and frequently refreshed with new content. With all of this in mind,
- Prepare for Collaborative Learning
- Optimize Space
- Create Meaningful Art
- Rethink Classroom Management
- Extended Learning Activities
- Celebrate Milestones & Success
- Create, Create, Create!
- Directions 2.0
- Share Ideas