Last night was Back-to-School Night. I finished up some of my classroom decor to-do’s and tacked up some student work.
Usually I make a slideshow, but I only see each group of parents for 10 minutes at a time, and it occurred to me last year that I’m overwhelming them with fairly useless information (for them).
So this year, I just focused on a one-page handout. One side had the year’s theme, essential questions and books. I spent about five minutes on that.
The other side had my e-mail address and the URLs of the class wiki and blog. I briefed the parents on how I intended to use those sites (class reference, regular updates and reminders) and how they might be useful to them (micro-manage their kids). I also stated my intention to incorporate technology into this year’s instruction (blogging, research, creating media).
Surprisingly, I didn’t get many anxious questions.
So I played them a little video I made using the promotional web site for Bob Dylan’s new greatest hits album. They really loved that. You can watch it yourself — it’s at the bottom of the home page of the class wiki.