This was the first year that I did not have students take home a letter to parents at the start of the year. In the past, the 1-page letter contained information about supplies, our first unit of study, how to contact me and find more information online, plus the bottom part detached and was to be returned to me with a signature and email.
This was all electronic, this year. And the initial results of making this change have been positive. Better than I knew to expect!
- Instead of telling parents about the website, they actually visited it with their students.
- Average visiting time length was six minutes; showing that they looked through at least some of the resources.
- By visiting the “I Can Statements” for 6th grade math, they were able to see the full year at a glance for units of study.
- They discovered a way to get some of their initial questions answered and now have a direct source to go to, when/if they would like to contact me, during the year.
- Plus, through the use of a Google Form (many of you like to test out my survey forms, please skip this one, unless you want to send your student into my class. If that is the case, I have a few seats open during 3rd period), I now have over 100 parent emails categorized by period and alphabetically.
Honestly, over the last few years of collecting the emails on paper slips, I found that I got too swamped at the beginning of the year to effectively use them and enter all of them into the computer. Using the Google Form has reduced my work load down to simply clicking the Sort by Period option. Very nice!
If you are thinking about collecting parent contact information, I really encourage the use of an electronic form. You may be more likely to have the adults attention as they read through your site first, and then electronically submit their information. Who knows what happens to that piece of paper that is sent home, on the first day, along with those from five or six other classes…