Monday, June 27, 2016

Communication Calendars

I have been to a training this month titled AVID. I am sure many of you have been to similar training. I was in San Diego for 3 days in which we learned how to get students thinking about learning, success, and their future. As a Kindergarten teacher, I was very hesitant about this. All I knew of AVID was that students kept gigantic binders and we were checked on every now and again. As a K teacher I was certain the program was not for us.

I was that obnoxious student at the training, asking question after question because I could not relate it to my self. After a lot of one-on-one time with my trainer (Abby Nylander, who is very patient and pretty great!), I began to see what AVID is all about. It is not just about the binder people! It's a mindset, a culture and a lot of what I have already been doing in my class.

One of the great things that AVID gives us is the guidelines on keeping students organized and focused. I decided to take my normal parent communication tool and tune it a little. Many of you have seen my Behavior Calendars. I have been using them for years and they allow parents to see how their child behaved during the school day. I altered it over the years and added events, like holidays and non-school days. I added minimum days, field trips, and anything else that seemed relevant to parents.

AVID has given me the idea to take it one step further. My Behavior Calendars are now Communication Calendars. They are completely editable. I will also add a box for parents to sign during the week, as a check that they are communicating with me. Giving parents access to information is a powerful thing. Giving YOU, the teacher, access is priceless.
Check out my new calendars. Please give me feedback, as I am going to be using these in a new way this year. I will be encouraging my parents to add to the calendar. Soccer games, trips out of town, doctor appointments, mom's due date, etc. are all things that we want our parents and students to share with us. Let them share!

I will be adding more posts in the future on HOW I plan to modify my calendars. But, in case you want to get a head start, all you will need to do once you download the PowerPoint is to add a text box.

In PowerPoint, go to the Insert tab, click add a text box and place it anywhere in the calendar you want. Presto! Instant communication!

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