Who wants more paperwork on their desk? Not me! Here are 5 ways to use Google Drive to engage parents.
1. Collect contact information using Google Forms to make a class roster
I used to hand out a piece of paper to parents to fill out their names, address, email address, phone numbers, etc. I get it back and sometimes, I can’t read the writing. I would enter the information for those that I could read and had to go hunt down the parents to correct spelling. It was so frustrating, so I decided to use a Google Form that each family fills out so I can easily collect the information. At back to school night, I had the form open on one of my desktop computers for parents to double-check their information. Be sure to ask if parents are willing to share this information with the whole class. I found this to be a LOT easier as well as a time-saver!
2. Upload Docs, Presentations, and/or Spreadsheets onto your class blog for parents to reference
For assignments, rubrics, project details/expectations, I upload them to my Drive. I make sure that the security settings are set to “can view” so parents can only view and not edit (unless it’s a collaborative type of document). Then, I copy the link to the Doc and put them on my “Documents” portion of my blog so that it lives there for parents to reference at their leisure. It’s a great way to be transparent and keep parents in the loop!
3. Create a Parent Teacher Conference Preference Form
Since my PT conferences are coming up, I email parents my PT Conference Preference Form to see what day(s) parents are NOT available for a conference as well as if morning or afternoon works best for them. I also included a comments or questions section at the end if parents need it. Once I see their responses, I plug them into my schedule and personally email each parent to see if the date/time works for them. No papers being passed back and forth!
4. Create a Pre-Conference Form
To make my first PT conference efficient and valuable, I send out a pre-conference form to parents to help guide the conference. It gives me more information about my students that I may or may not see at school and at the same time, impresses upon parents that we are working as a team to ensure their child’s success in school. Check my example here.
5. Create a survey by using a Google form
This idea has endless possibilities! Poll parents to…
- sign up to bring specific items for a class potluck
- give you feedback about something
- sign up to volunteer/chaperone for a school event/field trip
- schedule PT conferences (as mentioned above)
- give myself as the teacher, a way get to know their child, home life, etc. (Pre-conference form as mentioned above)
Tip: For those parents who either don’t have access to a computer or did not fill out the form, it’s easily printable for parents to hand-write. Then, I can fill it in onto my Drive myself. One cool tip for Forms is that you can view summary of responses for ease of reading instead of scrolling through the spreadsheet. Enjoy!