One of the many benefits of having a class blog is the strengthening of home-school relationships.
After having a class blog for a number of years, I have come to realise that you can’t leave parent participation to chance. Parents needs to be educated and regularly encouraged and invited to be part of your class blog.
Recently, I wrote a guest post on the Edublogs Teacher Challenge blog about encouraging parent participation. Click here to read it.
Last year I also wrote a post on this blog about some methods I have used to encourage parent participation. Click here to read that.
Today my class held a Family Blogging Afternoon. It was a great success!
Last week, all of my students made an invitation to give to a special person in their family. The family member was asked to come to our school at 2:30pm Wednesday to learn about blogging.
We had parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members come along. Almost all students brought someone along and proudly showed off our class blog.
We launched our Family Blogging Afternoon by skyping our blogging buddy in California, Mrs Yollis.
(Thanks Mrs Yollis for the photo below from her end of the Skype call!)
Mrs Yollis told everyone about some of the benefits of educational blogging in regards to literacy, community building, geography and internet safety. It was fantastic for the parents to see how we connect with others via Skype while hearing about the benefits of blogging from another experienced teacher.
Following the Skype session, all the students showed their special person a copy of our poster about writing quality comments.
The students then taught their special person how to navigate our class blog and how to leave a quality comment.
I prepared a special post for the parents to comment on that asked them to reflect how school had changed since they were students. Last year I discovered that these sorts of posts appeal to parents. Everyone has a story to tell about their youth. Some fantastic comments were produced with the students’ guidance.
I team teach with Kelly Jordan and we have 42 grade two students between us. We used our 10 classroom computers, 2 interactive whiteboards, 9 mini laptops (borrowed from another class) and school computer lab (26 computers) to provide enough computers for all students and family members.
What a fantastic afternoon full of fun, learning and community building!