Sunday, October 14, 2018

Get Ready for Conferences

In most districts around me, October is the month when Parent-Teacher Conferences happen. Conferences are a great time to talk about student goals and progress, but they are also a great time to connect with parents and talk about ways to support students at home as they work on material they are learning at school. One of the most important ways to do this is to create a way for parents to access assignments. I like to do that with Google Calendar.

It's very easy to create a Google Calendar for your class. Go to and click on the + that is underneath the small month calendar on the right hand side.

 Then click on New calendar.

Give your calendar a title that matches your class and start adding assignments and class happenings as events. I like to make my class happenings "all day" events so they show on the calendar as a colored bar at the top of that date.

The next step to make this a shareable resource with students and parents is to go into settings and mark the calendar as Public. Then copy and share the public link to the calendar with your students and parents. Here is a short video I made to show how this works:

Quick hack for Google Classroom teachers: Google Classroom is notoriously unhelpful for parents because parents can't join Google Classrooms. If you are creating assignments and posts in Google Classroom, they get automatically entered on a calendar that matches your Google Classroom. You can follow the steps above to make that calendar public and share it with parents so they can see what has been assigned in your class even though they can't join the class!

When you sit down with parents at conferences this month, be sure to share with parents how they can help at home. You might have a system that you love for sharing the information with students, but consider whether or not that system makes sense for parents too. As a parent myself, I sometimes feel frustrated that I didn't encourage my child to study for a test or polish a presentation because I didn't know it was happening. Having access to a calendar that shows what is happening in class and what is assigned to the class is a great first step to helping parents help your students.

No comments:

Post a Comment