Our Board has created and embraced this Transforming Learning Everywhere (T.L.E.) Model that includes transforming classrooms, relationships, and learning opportunities. While I’ve often considered this model through the structure and learning that can happen within the school environment, last night I was reminded that it can be so much more than that.
Recently, I spoke to a parent about her child’s reading at school. She mentioned a few different observations that she has at home. I explained that with Growing Success: The Kindergarten Addendum, these home examples can actually act as examples for the Communication of Learning. I made note of the information that this mom shared with me with this very thought in mind. But then she surprised me in the most wonderful of ways.
Just before I shut down my computer last night, this mom emailed me two video clips of her child reading at home. She said that she would welcome any feedback or suggestions for next steps. How wonderful! I listened to both clips, noted some observations, wrote down a couple of questions, and emailed mom back with some suggestions for future home reading options. This parent quickly wrote me back, answered my questions, and explained that she would try some of the ideas I shared.
This story really highlighted for me how technology helps bridge the connection between home and school. Thanks to this mom, I was able to see the reading that happened at home, provide feedback based on actual observations, and work with parents on possible next steps. Thanks to the sharing of quick video clips, home examples are not just confined to the “home” anymore, just like with the use of a blog, school examples are not just confined to the “school.” The learning environment truly goes beyond the classroom walls and becomes a merge of “home” and “school.” I wonder how we can further harness the power of this to benefit kids. What have others tried? This mom yesterday helped me realize just what “everywhere” in the T.L.E. Model can mean and now I wonder what more is possible.
Just a few short years ago I had a selective mute in my kindergarten class. I worked with her in class using PM books and would send them home. I gave the mom a tape recorder to record her daughters reading of the book. She would not read it to me but she would read it to her mom. I was able to hear from the recordings, what reading strategies she was using and what strategies I still
needed to teach her. It was an amazing experience.
Thanks for the comment, Maureen! I’m so glad that you mentioned this. About 11 years ago, I had a JK student that was also a selective mute (she was in my class for SK too). I used a tape recorder in a similar way, and it was incredibly powerful. I taught this same student years later in an older grade, and she would use her phone to record discussions and readings for me (both at home and at school). This was a great way to provide feedback and assess her oral skills. She also used her phone to email me questions (even when at school), so that I could go and help her out as needed. Thanks for reminding me of another way that technology is truly powerful and transformative.
Hi Aviva, Many teachers at A.M.E.S use the commons to make blog post showing student work. Some parents provide feedback or ask questions to further the home school connection. A few teachers this year have been trying the HUB and ‘explain everything’ as their ‘learning project’ to showcase student work to increase home-school communication. David
Thanks for sharing these examples, David! This is great to hear. I would love to hear different ways that staff are using Explain Everything for home/school communication. Is this just to show student work, or do parents actually engage in discussions with their child using this app at home? It’s such a wonderful app, and you’re making me wonder about different ways that parents and students could work together to use it to reinforce skills taught in the classroom and gain everyone’s voice: parent, teacher, and child.