How was school today?

How many times have you asked your kids, “How was school today?”  And, the predictable answer comes back, “fine.”

“Well, tell me about it.  How was math?  Science? Lunch, even?”

“Boring, Mom.  Nothing happened.”

“Come on- there had to be at least one fun or interesting thing you learned, heard or saw today at school!”

“Nope.”

Missouri 4th grade teacher, Suzette Pfanstiel, found a creative way to inspire more interesting dinner conversation with the families of the students in her class.

She set up a private Frienedy group and invited all of the students’ parents in her class to participate.  What she is doing is pretty ingenious- not only does it allow her to tell the story about what’s happening in her classroom every day through photos of the kids as they do “black light math” or enjoy a holiday celebration, but the group is also a way for her to communicate socially and professionally with the families about all upcoming class events as well as items needed for the class.  No more 20 minute chunks of time putting together emails for parents, and no more notes home or newsletters in backpacks.

Keeping photos of kids off public social media

And, the best part? The group is entirely private, ONLY to be seen by parents in the group.  The group is not a private Facebook group- even closed groups on public social media can expose more information about you than you’d want perfect strangers to see.  The photos in her class Frienedy group are organized in albums, and there is no mechanism for social shares or tags outside the group.

As for the students who go back and forth between 2 households, no worries that pajama day will be forgotten because the note went home in the backpack on a day the child was with the other parent. The Frienedy group helps her manage all of this quickly and conveniently- also allowing for push notifications for any event (tests, celebrations, birthdays, new unit starts, projects due, etc) that is added, changed, or deleted in the class calendar.

 

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Blog post from 12/5/15 – cyberwise.org

http://www.cyberwise.org/#!DigiWishes-for-My-4th-Grade-Class/c1aod/566388b80cf21dcdb62f6ff4

To see the entire article on cyberwise.org, check out the link above!

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