Hi there! My name is Kristen and I'm a 2nd grade teacher in San Diego and blog over at Easy Teaching Tools. I'm excited Cassandra has invited me to share how you can connect classroom learning using Instagram, with your parents. Let me tell you, it's a game changer!!!
I'm all for keeping parents in the loop and think that open communication is by far the most important thing to build a great relationship with families. I use to keep a classroom blog but it because too time consuming. When I found Instagram a few years ago, I was hooked because I'm such a visual person. Well gosh, I bet parents would love it as well, right? Just imagine those working parents who rarely get to pop in...now, they just check our feed to see what their child is learning. Plus, parents tell me that it gives them a sense of peace seeing their little one having fun at school.
|This is my Easy Teaching Tools Instagram account|
Last year, I decided to create a classroom Instagram account that was private and sent out permission slips to families with the objectives and posting requirements and rules. Students signed a safety pledge and then we got right to it! I posted the first few weeks to show kiddos what it's all about. I model how to take a photo, what learning activities make good photos, and how to write a caption in a complete sentence. Hello, Common Core! It also gets parents excited about it and kids can't wait to begin positing.
Once I felt like my kids were ready for the task, I printed out the Instagram logo and placed in on a child's desk. Be intentional about who you choose because it will set the tone for the rest of your class. That child is in charge of Instagram for the day.
My # 1 Rule is that all students must show me their posting for approval and then I'll click "share."
The next day, you'll place the logo on another child's desk. So they're not sure where to start? Students ask the person who did the Instagram posting the day before for help. That's the best part. Take the responsibility off of you, how great is that! With each photo comes a sentence that the students must create. Differentiate this activity by providing sentence starters.
Here are a few tips:
Use a recording sheet to mark off which students have posted on Instagram
Include your Instagram link in your newsletter or weekly e mails to encourage parents to follow you
After students post, remind them to let their parents know they were in charge of daily posting.
Every few days or even weeks, review the class Instagram page with your students. Trust me, they
will go home and beg their parents to sign on!
I hope this was useful for you and you take on Instagram for your classroom. Not ready to implement it officially but would like a cute Instagram bulletin board? You can snag one here.
I'd love to know what you do to keep lines of communication open with parents. Do you send a newsletter, use social media, or send good-old-fashioned notes home?