Wednesday, July 16, 2014

S'more Smores Please

This is Week 3 of #ptcamp for me, an online book study of Beyond the Bake Sale which is focused on building quality partnerships between schools and families. This week's topic: link everything to learn, even communications home. What I was reading seemed to go hand in hand with what I was hearing from Theresa Stager via #RSCON5 on Branding Your School.  She shared lots of great tips including ideas to get your message out to the community.  In the book study, we are talking about partnerships (not brands), but part of building partnerships involves communication.  We have brainstormed topics of what to communicate, but I am interested in how to communicate.

So first let me say, I've started and stopped this post several times and here I am again...this time to finish.  I hesitated to share this webtool, because it has been around for some time (in fact, I even blogged about it back in December).  But it is a unusually cool evening in July, a perfect time for a Smore.

Logo for Smore

No not that kind...this kind!

My Creation from Christmas in Response to Andrea Keller's Challenge

The one that let's you create beautiful flyers and newsletters for your students and their families in just 3 easy steps:)  

I am stealing this idea from Jay Posick, a school principal for students in grades 4-8.  In the #ptcamp online chat, he shared that each week, he sends out a Smore newsletter, all archived on the school website and view-able online.  

Principal Posick's Weekly Newsletter

You can add almost any feature you want to connect families to what is happening at school.  Can you image embedding a video showing how to complete an assignment or help prep for a test?  Maybe include an audio file of a student sharing their genius with classmates.  

The ideas are endless and so are they ways that you can communicate via Smore.  Thanks Jay for sharing the idea!


posickj said...

Thanks for sharing the smore communication tool with others. I am going to "step up my game" this year by adding videos and audio clips when I can. The families really love this tool, especially when their child is in one of the pictures!

Shelley Carranza said...

What a neat tool! Looking forward to trying this out. Thanks for sharing.

Cindy Wallace said...

Jay, thanks for sharing it with me and Shelley, I am glad you liked it as much as I did. Jay, I am sure families appreciate the information. It is like a sneak peek into what is happening at school. I am most impressed with the consistency of sending out a newsletter weekly. Maybe I can shoot for one per quarter for my first effort:)