Involving parents in their child's learning isn't something that always comes easily. Sometimes you can feel like you're doing everything possible but you just don't think you're getting it right.
We have a section on our website where we've placed some of the ideas that we have used in the past - check it out here! One of our ongoing thoughts has been the way we record our Learning Journeys. Currently we use a ring binder and every piece of 'work', photos, observations and other evidence is placed into the folder in chronological order. We like this way of working as it minimises the amount of organising, cutting and sticking, filing etc. Moving to an online Learning Journey, such as Tapestry, would give us the opportunity to give carers at home access to their child's learning - being able to view and comment or even add to their child's learning.
However, as with everything there's always things to consider. And for us it was the cost. One of the things you're paying for is the data management - linking to the Foundation Stage Profile, making judgements, producing percentages etc. We already have a whole school system for this and we obviously don't want to duplicate this job.
So was there another way? Well I think I've found something. And it came from a slightly unexpected source! Our school as just moved over to trialing 'Class Dojo'. This is a class based system for rewarding students for positive behaviour.
Our school is testing it as a replacement for 'team points' or 'house points'. However, for us in Reception, we didn't want to take this on. I felt especially strongly about embedding positive behaviour for intrinsic reasons and not for extrinsic rewards.
However, while discussing and talking about Class Dojo I made a discovery. We already knew that Class Dojo had been expanded to incorporate other useful class resources, such as timers, music, random children generators and even teaching sessions around mindfulness and making mistakes. But I also found a new section. Student stories and class stories.
Basically class stories are photos and videos that you can add to, to show what you are doing during class. For example you might take a picture of some work that you have been attempting or some artwork that the children have created. Student stories are individual versions where children can add photos and videos of their work. A little like Facebook you can add comments (everything goes to the teacher before being posted) and because you can give parents access, they can take a part in their child's learning. Check out this video to give you a better idea.
Does anyone else use Class Dojo? How is it going? So far I've had a little play and added the children to my class. And that's it. But I'll let you know how it goes!