Thursday, June 8, 2017

New School Year Resolution: Organizing Parent Communication Tutorial


It's summer time, and that means it is time for teacher's to make their New School Year's Resolution! We do it every summer . . . we say, "Now that I have time to do it, THIS year I'm going to . . . " and for me, the end of that sentence usually has something to do with organization. 

As a technology specialist, I want to give you some ways that technology can help you get more organized than ever and save you a ton of time in the process! Who doesn't need to save time?! At the beginning of the year, there is a lot of information we need to collect from parents. I've created some pretty lists for you in a few different color schemes:
If you are afraid of technology and you are perfectly happy printing out your word doc and sticking it in a binder, you can download these as a word doc. I have a set of each of these lists that you can choose in all of these colors, and while it's nice to have a pretty checklist, that doesn't exactly save you a lot of time or paper and ink. 

When you download these lists, there are also links available that allow you to make your own copy as a google doc. Google docs will save automatically and allow you to share the lists with subs or other staff members. They can see all the changes live, so no need to send a new copy when you have to add a new student to list. Google docs also give you the option of going paperless. No need to upload, download and upload again to save your changes and print them out. Seriously. You can stop doing all of those extra steps!

Google forms is the trick that will save you the most time. By sending a google form to parents, THEY do all of the work for you! They fill out all of their information, and everything is automatically saved on one google spreadsheet. 
Here is how to see the responses:

1. When you click on the link included in the download, it will ask you to make a copy of the form.
2. Click on "responses" on the top, and you will see the responses from all parents when they have filled out the form.
3. If you click on the little picture of the spreadsheet in the corner, it will put all the responses on a google spreadsheet for you. It's not as pretty as the form I created, but it is a quick way to get all the info you need in one place!

The picture below shows you how to do it step by step:



I've created the forms for you and included them in the download as well, so all you have to do is share it with the parents and you're done! 

Not sure how to get these forms to parents? There are 2 easy ways. 

First, you can email it to parents. 
1. Click on send
2. Click on the link icon in the middle.
3. I usually click on the url shortener in the corner so that the link is shorter.
4. Click "copy" and paste the link into an email. Although you can send it as an email straight from the form, you have to type in each email by hand. If I copy the link, I can send it to the group I have set up in my email. 

The picture below shows you how to do it step by step.



But what if you don't have an email list for parents set up yet?

Make a QR code! That might sound a little scary, but it's not. I promise! After you copy the link following the steps above, go to qrstuff.com.
1. Paste the link in the box. It will automatically create a QR code on the right hand side.
2. Click on "download QR code." You don't even have to set up an account to do it!
3. Now print the QR code. During open house, ask parents to scan the form and fill it out. Done!



The forms included in Organizing Parent Communication ask for parent email addresses, phone numbers, and a detailed volunteer questionnaire of how parents might like to offer their help from donating supplies for the classroom to volunteering every week. There is also a form for parents to sign up for helping with classroom parties. You can send the spreadsheet of responses to your room parent with the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of the parents who would like to help and what they are willing to bring. Another task crossed off the list!

You can find all of these docs and forms as a free download here on Teacher Sherpa.

Happy New School Year! Enjoy!












You may also like Notes from the Staff Meeting:



Sunday, April 2, 2017

Easter/Spring Read Alouds with QR Codes

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience, for which I do receive commissions if a purchase is made, but at no cost to you.

It's that time of year to start sharing stories about Easter and Spring time in your classroom! Here are some Read Alouds that you can add to your listening center. You can download the QR codes for students to scan. You can also pair these stories with Thoughtful Log Entry questions for higher level thinking with these stories.

Click here to download the QR codes for these stories.


Rose's Garden


Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
How would you describe the main character in the story? What is he/she like? What did he/she do in the story to make you describe the character this way?

CCSS RL.2.1, 3.1, 3.3, 4.1

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
What is the central message, lesson, or moral of the story? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
CCSS RL.1.1, 2.2, 3.2

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
How did the character respond to the problem? Why did he/she act this way? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
CCSS RL.2.3, 3.3, 4.3

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
Describe the overall structure of the story:
Beginning introduces the story
Setting
Major Events
Ending concludes the story
CCSS RL.1.3, 2.5

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
How is this story similar to another story? Use evidence from both texts to support your answer. 
(possible stories to compare: The Curious Garden, Plant a Kiss -- a read aloud book you can find in the Valentine's Day QR codes download, and Miss Rumphius)
CCSS RL.2.9, 3.9 

The Curious Garden


Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
How would you describe the main character in the story? What is he/she like? What did he/she do in the story to make you describe the character this way?
CCSS RL.2.1, 3.1, 3.3, 4.1

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
What is the theme of this story? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
CCSS RL.2.1, 3.1, 4.2

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
What is the central message, lesson, or moral of the story? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
CCSS RL.1.1, 2.2, 3.2

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
How is this story similar to another story? Use evidence from both texts to support your answer.
(possible stories to compare: Rose's Garden, Plant a Kiss -- a read aloud book you can find in the Valentine's Day QR codes download, and Miss Rumphius)

CCSS RL.2.9, 3.9

The Tiny Seed


Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
When did this story take place? What evidence from the text makes you think so? (This could be a season)
CCSS RL.1.3, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
Where does the story take place? What evidence from the text makes you think so?
CCSS RL.1.3, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1

The Easter Egg



Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
How would you describe the main character in the story? What is he/she like? What did he/she do in the story to make you describe the character this way?

CCSS RL.2.1, 3.1, 3.3, 4.1

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
What is the theme of this story? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
CCSS RL.2.1, 3.1, 4.2

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
When did this story take place? What evidence from the text makes you think so? (You could focus on the time of year, March, April because of the weather and because it's near Easter time.)
CCSS RL.1.3, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
How did the character respond to the problem? Why did he/she act this way? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
CCSS RL.2.3, 3.3, 4.3

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
Would you respond in the same way as the character in this story? Why or why not?
CCSS RL.3.6
The Velveteen Rabbit


Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
How would you describe the main character in the story? What is he/she like? What did he/she do in the story to make you describe the character this way?
CCSS RL.2.1, 3.1, 3.3, 4.1

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
What is the theme of this story? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
CCSS RL.2.1, 3.1, 4.2

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
How did the character respond to the problem? Why did he/she act this way? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
CCSS RL.2.3, 3.3, 4.3

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
Would you respond in the same way as the character in this story? Why or why not?
CCSS RL.3.6

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
Who is telling the story? How do you know? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
CCSS RL.1.6, 2.6, 4.6

I'm Not Hatching


Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
How would you describe the main character in the story? What is he/she like? What did he/she do in the story to make you describe the character this way?
CCSS RL.2.1, 3.1, 3.3, 4.1

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
How did the character respond to the problem? Why did he/she act this way? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
CCSS RL.2.3, 3.3, 4.3

Here Comes Easter Cat


Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
How would you describe the main character in the story? What is he/she like? What did he/she do in the story to make you describe the character this way?
CCSS RL.2.1, 3.1, 3.3, 4.1

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
How did the character respond to the problem? Why did he/she act this way? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
CCSS RL.2.3, 3.3, 4.3

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
Who is telling the story? How do you know? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
CCSS RL.1.6, 2.6, 4.6

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
Analyze one of the pictures or illustrations in the text. What does it tell you about the (characters, setting, events, plot, mood) of the story? (Circle one.) (I would circle mood --- the cat has great expressions that tell the story.)
CCSS RL.1.7, 2.7, 3.7

My Garden


Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
Where does the story take place? What evidence from the text makes you think so?
CCSS RL.1.3, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
Who is telling the story? How do you know? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
CCSS RL.1.6, 2.6, 4.6

Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
Analyze one of the pictures or illustrations in the text. What does it tell you about the (characters, setting, events, plot, mood) of the story? (Circle one.)
CCSS RL.1.7, 2.7, 3.7

Egg


Thoughtful Log Entry Question:
Analyze one of the pictures or illustrations in the text. What does it tell you about the (characters, setting, events, plot, mood) of the story? (Circle one.)
CCSS RL.1.7, 2.7, 3.7


Enjoy!