Use blogs, video to build parent partnerships

Source: SmartBrief on EdTech in partnership with GreyED Solutions

Some classroom activities — modeling, hands-on learning and interactive games — are difficult to describe to parents in a newsletter or phone call. Last spring, our school decided to create a blog for parents and embed videos demonstrating skills that pre-K students need to develop in order to be ready for kindergarten. Each video includes three sections:

  • What, describing the skills the video will demonstrate;
  • Watch, telling viewers which teachers will be in the video so their children can start getting familiar with adults at schools; and
  • What Else, which features resources and ideas for parents on additional ways they can help their child extend or enhance the skills.

Feedback on the program has been positive—parents love it! One of our favorite hits, Pop See Koo, has almost 25,000 views. Other videos and topics include ways to expose children to more vocabulary, extending engineering lessons over winter break, and fun segments like “Kid Principal.” Each blog post is linked to our Woodson Kindergarten CenterFacebook page and my Twitter account. During the summer we schedule blog posts to push out every Tuesday so parents don’t have look far — or wait too long — for the next activity

Our blog and social media channels have really helped build parent partnerships and outreach to our future “Packers in Training.” We encourage you to borrow from these ideas to build the same for your school community.

Jessica Cabeen is the principal at Woodson Kindergarten Center in Austin Minnesota. She is also a presenter with the Minnesota Pre-K3 Principal Leadership Series and a facilitator for the Minnesota Principal Academy at the University of Minnesota. Connect with Jessica via email or on Twitter at @JessicaCabeen.