Involving students in parent communications has always seemed like a great idea to me. The actual practice hasn’t ever taken place in my classroom, but there is no time like the present!
We are beginning a blogging project in 8th grade English and parent permissions and notifications are important. I don’t want anything to come as a surprise to parents, so I want their opinions about privacy to be heard.
I found a letter written by Clay Burrell’s Blogging Parent Letter: Choose Your Privacy Levels. After telling my students that yes, I am a thief and will steal other teachers’ work off of the Internet, we began to change the letter to make it our own. Our finished product changed the introduction and explanation of what the blogs will do for students in terms of education, but we kept the options and pros and cons the same. Here is our letter to parents.
What I liked about this letter is that it offers options along with pros and cons. I still am unsure about whether having a student’s name on his or her blog is a good idea, but now that the parents will be deciding, it is one less thing for me to worry about.
It was amazing to watch the students engage with the wording that they were creating to bring home to their parents. I was actually slightly worried that the students weren’t excited enough about blogging, but I felt much better after hearing them discuss their future blogs.
The keyword in our class has been “passion” about our topics. By offering a chance for these students to become invested in the project by helping write this letter, I think we are off to a good start!