Schools and parent organizations are always looking, and often struggle, for more parents to attend events and participate. Some schools are now providing incentives to parents, saying they’re simply doing what it takes to get families involved when they might not otherwise consider. Incentives vary from offering a small $5 gift card to larger items such as meals or used computers.
Do you offer incentives? Do they work? Do demographics play a part? Bring you ideas or play "idea bandit" with others as together we continue planning for 13-14.
Join #PTchat Wednesday, 5/22 at 9PM EDT and share your thoughts and ideas on the pros and cons of providing incentives for family participation at school.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
By Dana Sirotiak
If you looked into today’s classroom, what skills would you see being taught through the doors of a Kindergarten class? 4thgrade class? AP Science class? When preparing students to be college and career ready, schools normally focus on the skills students will be in order to be successful in a competitive 21st Century world. “Schools do a good job of teaching reading, writing, science, math and other “hard” skills that are both essential and valuable to performing well on the job” (Aricia E. LaFrance,Parenting and Career Coach). In order to prepare students both at home and at school, soft skills are also important traits to be included in daily interactions. La France (2013) defines “soft skills” as a complex system of traits and habits including: confidence, flexibility, honestly, integrity, the ability to see things from different perspectives, optimism, and common sense. These soft skills are habits that have been cultivated over time; starting in the home, then developed throughout time in school.
This week’s #PTchat will focus on how parents and educators can join together to help students cultivate soft skills both at home and in school. Join us this Wednesday, May 15th at 9pm EDT/6pm PDT, to discuss specific strategies families and educators can use to help students develop soft skills.
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
|Image credit: http://www.ed.gov|
In every timezone, social media's positive dent on our field of education is felt by many. The connected educators, parents & students who helped #TEDTalksEd trend tonight realize that social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, feared at first, are now ripping down classroom and home-school walls while allowing teaching and learning to transparently take place on the part of educators, students, parents and community members.
Here in the USA, reality TV shows are still fairly popular in many circles, but there's one area that we haven't harnessed the potential of - a channel focused on innovative teaching, learning and leadership. Ontario, Canada has a wonderful network and online platform called TVOParents, but it does not yet offer interactive opportunities that include social media during their broadcasts.
So let's just say EdTV 2.0 returns for the start of school. Here are a few features I'd look for...
10 innovative ways to use EdTV 2.0
- The channel's free programming, available on TV and streaming live on the Internet, is selected according to the needs of students, teachers and families. These needs are different everywhere and social media offers opportunities to differentiate offerings.
- All archived shows are part of an "On-Demand" option on the Internet and on cable providers offerings.
- Like the #TEDTalksEd hashtag, the hashtag #EdTV is used around the world to discuss, in real-time, the programming offered.
- Conversations continue well after tweets are sent, posts written and episodes shared.
- Some LIVE episodes take place around timely topics according to the time of school year, with social media adding to these conversations, and expanding "voice" on what we need to teach and learn in 2013. (Sample September episode- Maximizing Back to School Night at your school)
- On Tuesdays at 12EDT and 7EDT, #edchat trends on Twitter. Topics range and discussion is jam packed with resources and perspectives. What if there were social media interactive shows where they discussed thought-provoking tweets coming in and allowed others around the globe a way to participate? What if THIS was what we had on in our faculty rooms during the day?
- Using hashtags like #edchat, #ptchat, #globaled, #satchat, #cpchat #elemchat #digcit #ntchat #edtechchat #sbgchat #5thchat #ellchat and others are LIVE-broadcasted during nightly chats for those who prefer the visual to he tweet, or a mixture of the two . Each of these hashtag "channels" could have their own spot and topic for discussion.
- Show guests include leading researchers, gurus, parents, students, educators on a given topic. The key focus is sharing the teaching and learning happening everywhere.
- For those on the way to work, local radio and Internet radio would have the audio of these professional development conversations streaming. Heard something you want to push forward on - use it as a PTA Meeting or faculty meeting starter. The key here is that the programming becomes immediately applicable to practice, much like resources found on social media are shared in schools by 140 characters of text every day.
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
By Dean Calvaresi
5th Grade, Knapp Elementary
|Dean Calvaresi (@MrCalvaresi)|
You can find Dean on Twitter as @MrCalvaresi. He is someone I'd recommend other teachers and parents follow, share with and learn from. He understands what it takes to meet students where they are, using a variety of strategies to engage them, with his main ingredient being solid teacher-student relationships. Mr. C knows his students and his families, and harnesses this knowledge in maximizing their potential throughout the school year. THIS is the kind of teacher I want for my own children.