I truly believe, at least I want to believe, that parents that know what it going on at school have children that perform better at school. As a result, I'm always looking for new ways to communicate with parents to let them in on what we have going on in the classroom. This year I found a great communications resource that I love so far.
Remind101 is a free service that teachers can use to communicate with parents via text message without having to share phone numbers. The process is completely "blind". You never see the parents cell phone number, and more importantly, they never see yours. It's super easy to get started. All you have to do is go to the Remind101 website, found here and register as a teacher. You will then be able to set your class or classes up. I teach three different levels of 7th grade ELA, so the class content, homework, etc are all different from each other. As a result, I found it best to set up a different text message groups for each class. I simply labeled them "Gifted ELA", Cluster ELA" and "ELA". Once you have your classes set up, Remind101 gives you a number and a code that parents text in order to register to receive the text messages. I included the number and code in my weekly email to parents, but I also printed handouts right off the website that give parents directions for registering and I sent these home with students (just in case parents aren't reading the class emails).
I had a majority of parents sign up within a day or two. Each day I log in on the site and send out a quick text message that reminds them on an upcoming assignment, changes to an assignment, etc. Several parents have already commented that they love the service. I have found it to be a great addition to my weekly emails.
**This is completely my opinion on the Remind101 service. I was not asked or compensated for this review...it's simply my opinion as a teacher in the trenches of middle school. :-) **