When I was growing up, my school’s math curriculum looked completely different than what it is today. We were taught that the only way to learn math facts was to memorize them, manipulatives were for little kids only, and using a calculator to solve a problem was a big no-no. The parents in my classroom had very similar school experiences as me. The difference between us — I went to university to study “new ways” of teaching, while most of them have studied different subjects such as nursing or business. Without knowledge of the Common Core curriculum, classroom parents find themselves unable to assist their own children with homework. So, as a teacher, how can we help these parents? ClassDojo is the answer.
ClassDojo allows parents to be actively engaged in our classroom. There are multiple ways we can give parents a front-row experience into our classrooms.
1. Videos: ClassDojo allows you to post videos to your Class Story. I have started creating videos for my families. I focus these videos on whatever skill we are currently learning that day. Because they’re short, they give parents a good foundation for what we’re working on and they can view them at their convenience. Teachers can also do live-recording in their classrooms. This allows parents to see what their child is learning and how they can help at home. A teacher can record a lesson, science experiment, or more!
2. Photos: There is no denying that parents love seeing pictures of their own children. What better way to showcase a classroom’s learning than by sharing photos? Class Story allows teachers to post to all parents in their classroom, while Student Stories allow for a more individual approach. I use Class Story to post about whole class accomplishments, and use Student Story to have the students post individual learning. I love using this feature when we are on field trips. It allows the parents to feel like they are on the trip with us.
3. Messaging: Having open communication with parents is the key to a successful school year. Messaging allows parents to send you a quick “text” and ask questions. It also allows the teacher to send reminders or quick notes about a student’s day. This feature offers great documentation for teachers as well!
Since I began using ClassDojo five years ago, I have seen my home/school
connection grow. ClassDojo continues creating upgrades that allow us to maintain this strong connection with parents and families. I don’t have enough fingers on my hands to count how many times I have heard, “I love that Dojo thing you use!” How will you make your parents feel involved in their child’s learning?
My name is Amanda Haskell and I currently teach 2nd grade in Dolgeville, New York. I am a 1st/2nd grade looping classroom, therefore I am very lucky to spend two years with my family instead of just one. I am proud to be a ClassDojo mentor and Ambassador. I love integrating technology into my classroom and am always looking for new ideas to use with my elementary kiddos!