1. Create a “new post” as a weekly question. Post it every Friday and make it due the following Friday. I have made these weekly post with content questions, creative writing, QR codes, research base questions, real life application, Kid President and inspirational videos, inspirational videos, and the kids favorite… “Mystery Pictures” where the students had to guess what was happening in the picture (surrender at Appomattox Court House, “The Last Meeting” with Lee-Jackson, and etc). Make sure you put the due date/time on your post. Example
2. Teachers are always looking for good computer centers right?!?! Well, create a “new post” as a weekly writing center especially for those 4th and 5th grade students! Find an engaging video from vimeo or youtube, copy the embed code, and paste it into in a new post. Here are some videos I have used in the past to “Set the Hook” with writing. You can also use engaging and resourceful LINKS as a center!
3. What type of classroom management system do you use? Do you reward the students with beads, money, tickets, or use other extrinsic motivation? Well, use that to your advantage with your BLOG because students always want to earn more. Therefore, create a “new page” and call it “Monthly Trivia.” Each month post 5-10 questions and if the students answer the questions, they earn their extrinsic motivation. If you really want to get the students involved, post an additional 3-5 trivia questions monthly for the parents to answer. They will LOVE it!!!
4. Create an online study session in the evening by using todaysmeet.com. All you have to do is create a “Study Chat Room” and post a link to this location on your BLOG as a post. I did an online study session at the end of every month from 6:00 – 6:30 PM and the students and parents LOVED it!!! Did all my students use it, not every time; however, it was extremely successful!!!
5. Use Google Forms to get your students and parents on your BLOG! Students LOVE to vote on ANYTHING so create a weekly job for a student to create and embed a weekly Google Form as a “new post” (favorite sports team, favorite special, favorite color, and etc). Furthermore, use Google Forms to engage your students’ parents and get their feedback/opinion on “How their Students Learn Best” or “First Semester Feedback.” This will provide the teachers with essential and reflective material!!!g
6. Embed PROJECTS created with Web 2.0 tools. If this sounds like spanish, get with your ITRT to do a lesson that can be posted on your BLOG!!! Padlet, Movie Trailers , Mixbook, Animoto, Facebook Book Report, Flipsnack and SOOO much more! Use my instructional videos on my BLOG to learn how to implement online resources to engage, educate, and inspire students.
7. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!!! Kids and parents LOVE to see pictures so POST them on it’s on page. I also suggest using flipsnack or Mixbook to post your pictures because if you post your pictures directly on your blog, you will run out of space QUICKLY!!!
8. What do parents ask the minute their child gets home…. “What’s for homework?” “What’s going on this week during class?” Therefore, create a homework/newsletter page! You can even embed a Google Excel spreadsheet that can make your homework look SOOOOOO organized! Posting a homework page with your updated homework, Google Calendar, and weekly newsletter will eliminate 90% of parent complaints!!!
9. Adding a FeedBurner to your blog is an awesome way to connect parents to your classroom. FeedBurner allows parents to subscribe to your blog. Parents will get an email update once a day with your new blog posts. Subscribers to your blog can cancel at anytime. Click Here for directions on how to set up your FeedBurner.
10. Another great way to keep your parents connected is making a QR code that links to your blog. All you need is a smart phone with a QR code reader. Making one is simple just go to the website and type in the web address you want to make a QR code for. The image will be generated automatically. Click here to create your own QR code.