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10 Ways to Build Powerful Parent Partnerships from Day One

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 18 August, 2015 - 08:08

An Every Classroom Matters Episode on Building Parent-Teacher Relationships sponsored by Bloomz

First-rate teachers value parents. Jumpstart positive parent partnerships from day one.   Show parents how much they matter. Principal Amy Fadeji and Superintendent Joe Sanfelippo have a collection of simple ideas.

Important Takeaways
  • How to Connect. Four ways Amy encourages teachers to connect with parents. (Check out our show sponsor Bloomz too!)
  • First contact. First-rate teachers value parents. Jumpstart positive parent partnerships from day one.   Show parents how much they matter. Principal Amy Fadeji and Superintendent Joe Sanfelippo have a collection of simple ideas. Joe stresses the first contact with the parent should be positive. He has a method that seemed like more work the first time they did it. Now teachers do it willingly. It makes a huge difference.
  • Fab Fridays. How Joe ends every Friday on a positive note with five important phone calls.
  • Helping Parents Love Phone Calls from the Principal. Amy has a fantastic idea. Her teachers give her information that lets her make positive phone calls to parents. Parents don’t dread a phone call from the principal now.
  • Make Social Media Work for You. How to use social media to help improve perception of your school in the community.
  • I made some of the best quotes into images at the bottom. Take them to share on social media.
  • More solutions…

Don’t just plan lessons. Plan for positive parent relationships. Set up communications. Two-way. Pave the way with positivity. Take time to be kind. Share this show with superintendents, principals, and teachers. If isn’t the start of the year for you, it is never too late to start again.

Educator Resources Interview Links Sponsor
  • Bloomz is your one-stop solution for parent-teacher communications. More than just connecting with their cell phones, you can send long or short messages. You can send pictures and links. You can even coordinate volunteer schedules, donations, and parent teacher conferences. I’m using Bloomz in my classroom.

Set up Your Bloomz Classroom today

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.

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The post 10 Ways to Build Powerful Parent Partnerships from Day One appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.

Categories: Planet

Pay It Forward

Chris Betcher - 9 August, 2015 - 20:20

tl;dr… just click here and do the right thing.

I’ve done it. You’ve probably done it too.  You’re making some kind of digital product and you needed a digital asset of some sort to use with it. Maybe you were putting together a short video and needed some music for the soundtrack, or maybe you were working on some kind of poster and needed an image to include on it. Fortunately, we live in a world where we have access to amazing digital tools that make it easy to create, as long as you have some raw materials to work with.

While it’s technically quite simple to just find what you want online and use it, there are some ethical (and legal) questions about just taking anything you find on the web and using it as your raw material. Unless you have permission to use those resources you really shouldn’t use them. It’s effectively stealing.

Thankfully, that’s where Creative Commons comes in. Creative Commons provides a legal and ethical solution to this problem by allowing creators to licence their work using a simple and flexible set of permissions so that when others want to use or remix their work, those permissions and conditions are clearly stated up front. It’s a very good system, and the best attempt at copyright reform that we’ve seen succeed so far. I’m a huge fan of Creative Commons, and could not have produced most of the stuff I make without it. It’s also one of the reasons I publish most of what I make with a Creative Commons licence as well, so others can take, use and remix. It’s just good karma.

So, have YOU ever used Creative Commons material? Have you ever gone to Flickr or Jamendo or Wikimedia Commons or CC Mixter or Soundcloud or YouTube, or any of the many other sites that allow creators to provide their content freely for you to use?

I’ll bet you have. So here’s your chance to show your appreciation for what Creative Commons provides for you. The Creative Commons people are raising funds to produce an ebook about open business models. I want to encourage you to head over there right now and back them. For 10 bucks you’ll get a copy of the ebook when it’s released. And of course it’s on Kickstarter so more money gets you more stuff if you want to back them for more.

The book will no doubt be a really interesting read, so please make sure you get a copy. But seriously, even if you don’t need the book, consider it an opportunity to make a donation to Creative Commons as a way of saying thanks for what they’ve done for all of us over the last few years. They are helping keep our culture free and open and shareable.

Update: I just checked and they have just hit their 50k funding goal! That’s awesome news, but is no reason to stop backing them. Go show them that you appreciate what they’ve created for us all.

Header image by Kristina Alexanderson
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kalexanderson/6153035729/in/album-72157627559005689/

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Categories: , Planet

Why Is This Even A Debate?

Chris Betcher - 4 August, 2015 - 00:17

On TV tonight I saw an ad from some group that calls themselves the “Marriage Alliance“. I looked at their website which seems to be a thinly veiled attempt to be open minded when really all they want to do is oppose same sex marriage and maintain the unfair status quo…

Their site poses a number of open questions about marriage, and while they purport to being just trying to encourage a healthy discussion about the value of marriage in general, it’s pretty obvious what their agenda is. They are clearly in opposition to same sex marriage.

So, since they asked, here are my answers to the questions on their website…

Should children have the right to know their biological history?

Yes. As an adopted child myself, I should have the right to know my history if I choose to. Some choose to and some do not. But what’s your point?  So what if a child of a same sex couple knows their biological history and where they came from?  You think that will be a problem? You think a child will not be able to deal with that information? I believe you’re 100% wrong about that. Children don’t need to be protected from the truth, they need to be protected against those that think they cannot handle the truth.

Do we know the impacts of raising our children in a changed society?

No. And neither do you. But this proposed change to same sex marriage laws are about respecting people’s rights to acknowledge who they are as people and to give them the same rights that the rest of society already enjoys. If that means that society needs to change a few things to accommodate that shift then so be it. It’s not the first thing that has ever caused a “changed society” and it won’t be the last. The fact that you are so concerned about a “changed society” shows your true colours… you just don’t want anything to change from the way it is now. Sorry, but I have bad news for you…

Are you happy to have your family redefined as a social unit?

Yes. Perfectly happy. And by the way, I’m not gay myself just in case you were wondering. I have two children that were raised to be tolerant, open minded and respectful of others. My children understand that people are all different. They also understand that society changes. And they can cope with that. I’m a man married to a woman and I’m happy to be who I am. But I have many friends who are same-sex attracted and I want them to be happy with who they are, and to have the same rights that I have. I cannot think of a single good reason why they should not have the same rights as me, and that includes marriage if they so wish.

Are we asking the right questions about the proposals to redefine marriage?

I’m not sure what question you’re asking, since you haven’t really asked any good ones so far… but here’s what I think is the right question. Is it fair to deny same sex couples the right to be married? I happen to believe that to deny that right to anyone just because it doesn’t fit your own world view is unfair and unjust. If two people feel strongly enough about each other that they want to be married, who are you to deny that right? What higher authority granted you the right to be so bold as to suggest that you know best about who can and cannot be married?

Related posts:

  1. Change can be Painful

Categories: , Planet
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