Today’s tip comes from the amazing Alice Keeler… and as a parent, I think it’s a fabulous idea.
Alice’s idea takes advantage of Google Classroom’s Guardian Summary emails that are auto-generated and emailed to parents. Guardian summaries are a great way to share what’s going on in your classroom without giving parents direct access into your Google Classroom.
Guardian email summaries include missing work, upcoming work, and recent Classroom activity (including announcements, assignments, and questions recently posted by teachers).
The screenshot above is just a small part, so be sure and check out the full example Guardian Summary. If you would like to enable Guardian Summaries for your classes (and you totally should!), here’s a how-to.
By default, parents see all of the class activity for the week. But what they don’t have is the context or background on those assignments. The solution is to add a “parent corner” to all assignments.
Consider when creating assignments to also specifically consider how parents will understand what their child is doing and how they can help support their child in learning. Including a parent corner where you can write a note to the parent to explain the activity and the goals provide parents a clearer window into our classrooms. Without having to decode the assignment from the student perspective, writing a few sentences directly aimed at parents can help them feel included and more clearly understand what their child did that day.
This parent corner might include a background on what is being taught in class along with open-ended reflection questions that the parent and student can discuss together.
If a child cannot answer the questions, then this provides an opportunity for the parent and teacher to work together to help the child improve their understanding of the topic.
Using Guardian Summaries with a parent corner allows parents a meaningful way to remain involved with their child’s education, far beyond just asking “what did you do in school today?”.
I’m Chris Malanga and I’ve been an Educational Technologist with the Northern Buckeye Education Council/NWOCA since 2016. In this role, I help teachers, administrators, and students integrate technology into our schools. My passion is helping people develop skills to change the world of education!