Thursday, March 14, 2013

AR Reading Challenge FREEBIE

How do you motivate your students to finish strong? Well, I'm attempting to light a spark under my 2nd grade readers by Double Dog Daring them to double their AR goal!
I think this is going to be a great way to keep them reading all through the 4th quarter!

Here's a FREEBIE for you!
I can change the date and prize for you.  Just email me the date and your prize request!
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How to Get Parents to Visit Your Class Site

I've had a classroom blog for years.  But when my school told us that we had to send home a paper newsletter, meaning it couldn't be exclusively online, I felt that I would be doing double duty.   Why would parents go online for information if it is handed to them on paper?  I noticed that I would have 3-5 "regular" visitors and the rest of the parents stopped by so infrequently that I couldn't justify spending the extra time.  But for some reason I just couldn't give it up.  
Enter Remind 101 to the rescue.
Not only is Remind 101 great for general communication with my parents, but I found that it increased my classroom blog traffic.
If you're not familiar with Remind 101, here's a little promo video.  It was super simple to set up and I have had only positive feedback from parents.  They love the communication!
(I'm not explaining how to use Remind 101 in this post, but rather how I use it to get traffic on our class blog.)

I keep the app in my school folder on my phone:

When I'm ready to send a text and share about a blog post I click on my current class:

Here's an example of some of the texts I've sent with this app:

Here's how I use it to promote traffic on our class blog/site:
I always text the parents to say "Pics are posted on our blog" or "A new game has been posted"
or whatever the new post is about.  I put a link in the text so the parents can quickly access the post. It takes 5 seconds to send the text.  As a result about 90% of my students' parents regularly visit our class blog using this method!  It has made the time I spend on our classroom blog worth every minute!