Explore the information.

This page contains examples of many activities discussed in the eBook. The links will take you to examples, tips, and best practices shared by other educators and freely available on the Internet. As you review these resources, consider how you could use them to enhance your own practice. You might choose to apply these examples directly or use them as inspiration to develop your own activities.

Culturally Responsive Communication

Effective teachers are aware of and consider students’ lives outside of school. This includes using their culture and interests as tools to teach them as well as considering their culture when communicating with their families. Read Culturally Responsive Instruction and then check out an example of communication strategies that were developed in Applying Culturally-Responsive Communication in Hispanic/Latino Communities. Finally, watch Cross cultural communication l Pellegrino Riccardi l TEDxBergen (Run Time 19:57) to see the importance of perception when communicating.

Communicating Positives and Concerns

You can produce a class newsletter yourself or enlist the collaboration of your students. Either way, be sure to ask families for feedback on the content and timing. Sending a class newsletter on a regular schedule will enable families to know when to expect information from you—and they’ll know if they missed it. If you need them, here are the step by step instructions (PDF) for downloading free Microsoft templates.

How do other teachers create classroom news? ProTeacher.org offers more than 30 examples and templates created and shared by other teachers.

Students can be also be involved in communication by way of a writing lesson where they create authentic newspaper stories. As they are transformed into reporters and editors, they will become effective users of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in order to publish their own classroom newspaper. Various aspects of newspapers are covered, including parts of a newspaper, writing an article, online newspapers, newspaper reading habits, and layout and design techniques. Creating a Classroom Newspaper.

Communicating concerns with parents can sometimes be difficult. Watch Teachers TV: Communicating With Parents (Run Time 18:32) to gain some insight into how teachers interact with parents of special needs students. Although this video is focused on the special education population, the tips apply to general education students and parents as well. Then, check out the multitude of resources available on communicating with parents during sensitive or difficult situations.

Student and Family Involvement

Involving students and their families in school life benefits everyone - students, parents, teachers, and the school community. Read The Benefits of Parent Involvement: What Research Has to Say. Then, watch Teacher and parent relationships - a crucial ingredient: Cecile Carroll at TEDxWellsStreetED (Run Time 9:20)

Events for families and students at school can take place during school hours, in the evenings, or on the weekends. Even though some of these examples refer to the event as a Family Night - you can hold an event any time that works for your families.

Ideas for Family Volunteers

When family members of your students offer to help out in the classroom, you have an opportunity to maximize the benefit of their generosity. By planning ahead and having a list of activities families can do, you encourage each volunteer to engage in an activity they enjoy.

Class Websites

If you are not permitted or not required to use the website provided by your school or district, you can create one of your own. A website creator is available through SAS. One service that enables you to create a website free, quickly, and with very little learning curve is WordPress.com. They offer a variety of designs, or themes, which make your site immediately beautiful and easy to navigate. If you have volunteers who translate for you, you can create a user account for them on your blog so they can work in any of the 50 languages that are supported. If you have a smart phone or tablet, you can write, edit, publish and respond to comments anytime using WordPress apps. If you decide to use this free service, be sure to review what privacy features you have available to you. There are also many fee-based providers available to you. You can find and compare them by searching the internet.

Examples from SAS

Knowledge Check

Take the Knowledge Check.

1.2 Knowledge Check

Review your pre-assessment reflection. In a two paragraph response (approximately five to seven sentences each), describe three additional strategies included in the course content that align with the criteria for a distinguished teacher in the Communicating with Families component. How will you integrate these approaches into your professional practice? Additionally, discuss how you can adapt your methods of communication to engage families with diverse experiences and backgrounds.

Provide your answers in the Assignments Tool. (1.2 Knowledge Check)

Knowledge Check

Take the Knowledge Check.

1.3 Knowledge Check

Provide your answers in the Assignments Tool. (1.3 Knowledge Check)