Ideas and resources for parent conferences

These reviewed resources offer information so share with parents at conferences or suggested activities to share at conference time. Read "In the Classroom" ideas to display and other creative approaches for parent conferences. Parents will appreciate your sharing of educator-reviewed resources at conferences and on your TeachersFirst public page so you can work as a team in support of their child's learning.

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Live - pics.io

Grades
4 to 12
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Share and discuss photos or other images in real-time using Live. No registration is required. Live works only on Chrome and Firefox browsers. Drag and drop or upload images from ...more
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Share and discuss photos or other images in real-time using Live. No registration is required. Live works only on Chrome and Firefox browsers. Drag and drop or upload images from your computer to Live to begin a session. Be sure to allow access to your computer's microphone for online conversations, or use the chat box if you prefer. The real power of LIVE is being able to "narrate" and discuss images orally, though. Copy or tweet the link to share the URL for your session. Once participants enter the session, the site's tools allow options for drawing using the brush tool, watermarks on images, and zooming in and out to share features of images.

tag(s): images (261)

In the Classroom

Use Live as an alternative to other screen sharing tools to maintain quality when discussing images. Use it with your 1:1 art class to discuss design principles and techniques in images or works of art. Suggest students use Live when collaborating on group art or media projects. Students can create or alter group products such as logos for their mock companies or political party. World language classes can use an image to spark conversation and vocabulary practice using this online tool, even if they are not in the same location! Set up a LIVE session with a partner class at another school for sharing images and the stories behind them. Share an image of a student's work using a Live session during a parent phone conference.

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Time and Date - Steffen Thorsen

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Time and Date is your one-stop resource for anything concerning time zones, calendars, and weather. View current time for any place in the world, explore time zone maps, and create...more
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Time and Date is your one-stop resource for anything concerning time zones, calendars, and weather. View current time for any place in the world, explore time zone maps, and create and print personalized calendars. Explore the short news articles. Calculators and timers offer countdowns to any date. Find the number of days until a chosen date or tell the date in X number of days. Other options allow you to find the weather anywhere in the world, explore sun and moon phases, and browse through upcoming holiday events. There are also many free apps available to specific sections of this site (see the Apps link). There is a LOT here to explore!
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tag(s): calculators (41), calendars (44), DAT device agnostic tool (192), moon (72), sun (71), time (144), time zones (8), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Bookmark (or save in your favorites) Time and Date on your classroom computers for students to use throughout the year. Find out the local time and temperature in countries as you study them, count down the number of days until spring break or the end of the school year. Use the stopwatch or timer/alarm for timing class activities. Create a personal classroom calendar. This is a perfect addition to your Calendar Math lessons in elementary school. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as you count how many days you have been in school, daily weather, or a countdown to a special occasion. The possibilities are endless using all of Time and Date's features! Include time/date conversions for online conferences you will hold with parents who are deployed or traveling in different time zones. Share meeting dates/times for Skype sessions using the time conversions so everyone is "on time." Humor your fellow teachers by warning them of the upcoming full moon and its supposed effect on student behavior!

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Parent-Teacher Conference Tip Sheets - Harvard Family Research Project

Grades
K to 12
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Achieve maximum potential from Parent-Teacher Conferences with these three tip sheets (PDFs) from Harvard Family Research Project. Tip sheets for parents, teachers, and principals offer...more
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Achieve maximum potential from Parent-Teacher Conferences with these three tip sheets (PDFs) from Harvard Family Research Project. Tip sheets for parents, teachers, and principals offer targeted suggestions for teams working together to promote student success. Suggestions include ideas for before, during, and after conferences and suggestions for all participants to "Be Heard."

tag(s): parent conferences (22)

In the Classroom

Use these tip sheets as suggested on the site. Prepare copies for parents, principals, and teachers well before conference meetings. Include a link to parent tip sheets on your class website or include with class newsletters. Be sure to include copies for other professionals such as counselors, and ESL/ELL, Learning Support, Speech/language clinician, or Gifted Education teachers.
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Surfly - Nicholas Piel and Denis Bilenko

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Surfly is a sharing tool to share the web with others, almost as if their computer is watching over your shoulder. No special plug ins are required! Create an account ...more
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Surfly is a sharing tool to share the web with others, almost as if their computer is watching over your shoulder. No special plug ins are required! Create an account and use the Start a Session link to begin. Paste in the URL of any website, then share the Surfly URL generated for that site with anyone you wish. You provide the browsing experience while invitees are along for the ride! Invite others to join in at any time using links on the left or change the site URL with a quick click.

tag(s): computers (78), editing (58), homework (43), parent conferences (22)

In the Classroom

Screen share with students on individual computers to demonstrate how to locate information on websites, or when learning tech tools. Surfly is a great alternative if an interactive whiteboard or projector is not available. It is also very helpful for demonstrating with others at another location (such as students who are home sick). Use this tool to collaborate with other teachers when creating lesson plans or student documents. Have students on laptops share their screen with you during presentations to make information easier to view and assess. Share this site with students to use at home when collaborating on projects. Help a homebound student by sharing your class computer screen and opening an audio connection over the phone. Offer "extra help" sessions via screen share at predetermined "office hours," on snow days, or on certain evenings. Have students teach tech skills to their peers using this free sharing tool. Share a student's online work using a screen share during a parent phone conference. Show a parent how to navigate a practice site you want the family to use at home. Visual directions always work better!

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My Autism Team - My Health Teams

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
My Autism Team is a social networking site for parents of autistic children. The site includes four key areas: finding providers, finding and networking with other parents of autistic...more
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My Autism Team is a social networking site for parents of autistic children. The site includes four key areas: finding providers, finding and networking with other parents of autistic children, questions and answers, and activities -- with daily updates of triumphs and trials. Register using your email to access most information on the site; however, it is possible to search and browse the question and answers and find local providers without registration. This is NOT a medical or "professional" site, though they do have partnerships with several respected professional autism-related groups (see Partners section).

tag(s): autism (22)

In the Classroom

If you have an autism spectrum chid in class, use information and resources on My Autism Team to understand parental concerns and make parent-teacher conferences and communications more effective. Share this site with parents of autistic children as a resource for networking with other parents. Be sure to share this with partner teachers including Special Education teachers. Browse the Question and Answer portion of the site to become familiar with concerns families of autistic children have when working with school systems and IEPs. Help diffuse the feeling of "them and us" by reading what parents say and talking about how you can work together.

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Super Power Speech - Caroline Bowen

Grades
1 to 5
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Join forces with Super Power Speech, a blog written by a speech pathologist, Caroline Bowen. Find professional speech pathology information such as Articulation Printables links,...more
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Join forces with Super Power Speech, a blog written by a speech pathologist, Caroline Bowen. Find professional speech pathology information such as Articulation Printables links, Social Skills, Language based speech therapy, many engaging blog entries, and links to helpful speech resources by clicking on Speech on the top menu bar. Explore resources for Assessment and Response to Intervention. Some material featured on the site goes to Teachers Pay Teachers, but some are free.
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tag(s): professional development (123), social skills (20), speech (93), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Whether you are a speech pathologist, social skills/autistic support teacher, or a classroom teacher, find extra resources here to help children with speech and language needs. Also read the discussions to help build social skills or even to improve literacy. Read through past blog entries. Brush up on the latest to be sure you are current! You may also find some specific ideas to share with these students' parents at conferences so you can work together in supporting their child. Primary grade regular ed teachers will find vocabulary development activities appropriate for any student, not just those who are identified.
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Simply Circle - Elena Krasnoperova

Grades
K to 12
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Open up the lines of parent/teacher communication with SchoolCircle. Use your email address to create your account and set up class Circles. Manage Circles to share messages, pictures,...more
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Open up the lines of parent/teacher communication with SchoolCircle. Use your email address to create your account and set up class Circles. Manage Circles to share messages, pictures, and files. Add tasks, organize events, and assign roles. Members of Circles receive three types of emails: a daily digest received each evening, a morning email with information due that day, and a weekly digest each Sunday. There is an option to send urgent messages immediately.

tag(s): classroom management (129), homework (43), microblogging (44)

In the Classroom

Set up accounts for all of your classes. Send homework, project, and supply reminders. Send changes to plans due to a snow day or other emergency. Remind students of upcoming events, practices, or things they need to bring to school. Don't forget to include any extracurricular activities. Use this tool to communicate with parents. Allow them to sign up for these updates at back to school night using a laptop or provide them the necessary information on your class web page. Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, school spirit days, conferences, and more. Learning support teachers can promote organizational skills by having students and their parents sign up to receive reminders about tests and homework. Add messages with tips for parents to help their elementary child study. Need supply donations? Send out a request using SchoolCircle. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures or department meetings and activities.

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Dropr - dropr.com

Grades
K to 12
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Easily "drop" and create portfolios including images, video, text, and interactive artwork using Dropr. Your portfolio will look great on ANY device! Create an account using email or...more
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Easily "drop" and create portfolios including images, video, text, and interactive artwork using Dropr. Your portfolio will look great on ANY device! Create an account using email or using your Facebook, Google, or Twitter login. Follow prompts to connect your Dropr account to several social networking options. Follow instructions to personalize your page using files from your computer or connected social networking sites. When finished, easily share your portfolio with the link, embed code, or share buttons.

tag(s): careers (129), portfolios (25)

In the Classroom

Have teens and older students upload work throughout the year to create their own "me-portfolios." Create portfolios (with permission) to share younger students' work with parents and students during conferences. Use this tool to show finished projects or to show changes in a project from start to finish. Make a work prototype site and upload examples of exemplary work to share with students to set expectations for completed products before beginning a project. Create a link to this tool on your class website for students to share projects and information. (Get parent permission before posting students' work!) Have students take ownership of their own portfolios to show progress and products across several years. Have older students build portfolios to share as part of career and college preparation. Art teachers will want to share this as a portfolio option for their students.

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Remind - Remind 101

Grades
K to 12
12 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Remind is a safe and easy way to send reminders to students and parents via text message or email. When sending a text, the site is set up so that ...more
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Remind is a safe and easy way to send reminders to students and parents via text message or email. When sending a text, the site is set up so that students & parents do not see the teachers' phone numbers nor do the teachers see the students' phone numbers. Create an account. Any phone that can receive text messages will receive these. Communication through this site is safe and secure. You only see the names of your students, not their phone number, and they only see your name -- not your cell phone number. Be sure to obtain parental permission FIRST, as standard messaging rates apply.

tag(s): chat (51), DAT device agnostic tool (192), microblogging (44)

In the Classroom

Set up accounts for all your classes, and even your extracurricular activities, to send homework, project, and supply reminders. Remind students of upcoming events, practices, or things they need to bring to class or practice. You could also use this to communicate with parents (allow them to sign up for text message updates at back to school night). Share this site the first week of school to save time throughout the entire year. Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, sneaker days, conferences, and more. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures and more.

Comments

Love this site! I'm using it to send reminders to students about overdue library books and/or fines! Terri, VA, Grades: 9 - 12

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I Coach Math - HighPoints Learning

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Receive online math help and practice anytime and anywhere using I Coach Math activities (many correlated to Common Core). Begin by choosing your appropriate math level from elementary,...more
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Receive online math help and practice anytime and anywhere using I Coach Math activities (many correlated to Common Core). Begin by choosing your appropriate math level from elementary, middle school, or high school at the bottom of the screen. Narrow results by grade and topic to find lessons. Review and practice material with short, multiple choice response questions. Other interesting features of this site include math, physics, chemistry, and biology dictionaries. Complete the free assessment test to receive an instant report including your strengths and challenges. Please note that although I Coach Math works on all browsers, the site recommends Mozilla Firefox for display of all content. There are significant ads on this site, so guide students to avoid them.
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tag(s): assessment (99), decimals (133), equations (155), exponents (42), fractions (239), functions (70), geometric shapes (159), homework (43), measurement (163), polynomials (32), probability (130), ratios (52), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your class website or class newsletter for students (and parents) to practice at home. Create a link on classroom computers for a math center activity. Although the free assessment test may take up to 60 minutes to complete, it may be worthwhile to have students complete this to include with parent teacher conferences.
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You Can Book Me - Bridget Harris

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
You Can Book Me is an appointment scheduling tool that works within your Google Calendar. Sign in with your Google login, and set up scheduling pages with your availability preferences....more
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You Can Book Me is an appointment scheduling tool that works within your Google Calendar. Sign in with your Google login, and set up scheduling pages with your availability preferences. Enter the length of "bookings" (appointments) along with time zone and language preference. Choose a theme to finish set-up. Customize your calendar further with tools under the advanced options. Options include different availability times on individual dates, a block for your lunch period, or requiring a minimum notice to schedule appointments. Once saved, share a link to your calendar with your custom booking link.
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tag(s): calendars (44), organizational skills (120)

In the Classroom

Use You Can Book Me to schedule parent or student conferences to meet mutual scheduling needs. Create events for professional development sessions. Have participants choose a time for attending or presenting at sessions. Schedule student presentations at your evening science fair or other culminating event. Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as an excellent scheduling tool for any event. If you advise a club, use this tool to schedule student volunteers to work the photobooth, concession stand, or other volunteer hours. Link this to your Google Calendar and save time, emails, phone calls, and more! School library/media specialists can book their volunteer slots or visiting readers using this tool.

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Doodle - Michael Brecht

Grades
K to 12
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Doodle is an online tool to simplify scheduling meetings with several participants. Follow the three easy steps to find the best meeting time: set up a poll, invite participants, and...more
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Doodle is an online tool to simplify scheduling meetings with several participants. Follow the three easy steps to find the best meeting time: set up a poll, invite participants, and confirm the date and time. Set up your poll including proposed dates and times including as many time slots each day as you wish. Refine using options such as only the administrator may view responses or limit the number of participants in each time frame. When ready, send invitations using your email service with the Doodle link or connect your address book for invitations to come directly from Doodle. Two links will arrive in your email: one to administer your poll and the other to share.
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tag(s): calendars (44), classroom management (129), organizational skills (120)

In the Classroom

Use Doodle scheduling to set up parent/teacher conference appointments, to set up professional development sessions, or to plan school events such as Math and Science fairs. Set up times for guest speakers, Skype calls, or other in-class events easily using Doodle. Share with students to set up study group meeting times. You could even set up in-class writing conferences or extra help by letting your BYOD students sign up for time slots.

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Children's Books and Reading - Stephanie at Childrens-Books-and-Reading.com

Grades
K to 4
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Parents (or any interested adults) can support young readers with this guide to reading instruction, Children's books, and Reading. Find support in many areas of reading such as book...more
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Parents (or any interested adults) can support young readers with this guide to reading instruction, Children's books, and Reading. Find support in many areas of reading such as book lists, early literacy ideas, ways to improve reading, spelling instruction ideas, and reading interactives. Don't worry, there is also material here to help children who are already reading - to increase fluency, comprehension, and more! Book lists include; audio books, read alouds, picture books, wordless picture books, classic books, books to hook reluctant readers, as well as recommended books. Subscribe to the newsletter to stay in touch with the latest ideas. Although this site is definitely text-heavy, it does offer a lot of information to both parents and teachers working with emergent readers.
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tag(s): literacy (102), preK (275), reading comprehension (114), reading lists (72), reading strategies (43), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

This site is a great site to share with parents on your class website. Start a PTO meeting featuring literacy using ideas from this site. At a literacy night, show this site on your projector (or interactive whiteboard) to feature the interactives. Add the games to your literacy stations. Share at conferences to answer the parent questions of, "How do I help at home?" Looking for more audio books? Find a huge collection of audio books here to try some of the strategies suggestion by this site. Don't forget your earbuds!
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Jooners - Jooners Inc.

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create, coordinate, and manage sign up sheets online in just 2 minutes. There is no registration required! Create your own sign up from scratch or choose from examples of different...more
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Create, coordinate, and manage sign up sheets online in just 2 minutes. There is no registration required! Create your own sign up from scratch or choose from examples of different types of sheets to modify for your use. View a preview and publish when complete. Send finished sheets to email recipients. Recipients click on the link in the email to sign up using options provided. Optional registration (FREE) allows members to save up to 5 sign up sheets for use at a later time. A premium version offers additional options, but the free version gets it done!
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tag(s): calendars (44), organizational skills (120)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check out the pre-made templates for many school events such as conferences, recess duty, lunch helpers, and spring carnival. Use Jooners to coordinate helpers and items for classroom parties or teacher luncheons. Use Jooners to plan for your class field trips, special events, and more. Jooners is perfect for all of your Parent Teacher Organization events. Share this site as an easy way to coordinate all school or extracurricular activities.

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Common Myths in Gifted Education - National Association for Gifted Children

Grades
K to 12
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Take a close look at myths versus truths in Gifted Education at this informative site. Topics range from identification of gifted students through information on accelerated options....more
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Take a close look at myths versus truths in Gifted Education at this informative site. Topics range from identification of gifted students through information on accelerated options. Browse through a series of over 10 myths related to Gifted Education and then view a short discussion of the truth. Each set of truths includes links to further information on the National Association for Gifted Children's website. You will find articles, studies, and webpages related to the specific myth being addressed.

tag(s): gifted (96)

In the Classroom

Share information from this site during professional development sessions in your school as a resource for properly serving your gifted population. Use information from this site when holding parent conferences as a resource for research on gifted education.

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Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted - SENG

Grades
1 to 12
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Change lives and change futures of gifted and talented individuals by gaining a more comprehensive view of being gifted. SENG's mission is to empower families and communities to help...more
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Change lives and change futures of gifted and talented individuals by gaining a more comprehensive view of being gifted. SENG's mission is to empower families and communities to help gifted and talented individuals to reach their goals: intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. A variety of programs offers education either through home study courses, annual conferences, online parent support groups, or ways to establish a parent support group in your area. Continuing education credits are offered for health care professionals or any interested individual. Find a health care provider in your own area. Free materials further explain medical misdiagnosis for Gifted, Emotional Health, Twice Gifted, ADHD, Roles for Health Care Professionals, and more. An extensive free library of print, audio, and video resources help explain needs of gifted and talented students and how to advocate for them. Find links to other gifted organizations, books, and downloadable informational brochures.
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tag(s): gifted (96)

In the Classroom

Have questions about a gifted child or a child you suspect to be gifted? Teach a gifted and talented group? Answer many of your own questions and also parent questions with an amazing amount of information available. Sponsor a parent night for Gifted Students and offer and feature many of the resources highlighted. Be sure you have a strong base of your own knowledge of the needs of gifted and talented students. Keep up to date with latest research and information.
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30 Boxes - Julie Davidson and Nick Wilder

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create a simple, easy-share, online calendar using 30 Boxes. Use the wizard to fill in birthdays, email connections, your zip code (for weather information), and more. Click on any...more
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Create a simple, easy-share, online calendar using 30 Boxes. Use the wizard to fill in birthdays, email connections, your zip code (for weather information), and more. Click on any date to add events, add start and finish times, notes, tags, or make private. Use the dropdown box to choose times for reminders by text or email. Send an invite to your contacts or add any email address. Choose from many personalization options to change color, add online calendars to your feed, or change privacy settings. Share your calendar using the link, embed code, or other share options.

tag(s): calendars (44), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Create a 30 Boxes calendar and share on your class website. Include homework, upcoming events such as conferences and holidays, and test dates. Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as an excellent way to share school events with the community. Create an online calendar including professional development opportunities to share with others in your school and district. If you advise a club, this is a handy tool for sharing the events calendar.

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WhenIsGood - Keith Harris

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
WhenIsGood is an easy to use tool to find out when all participants are free for an event or meeting. Choose "get started" and click all possible times and dates ...more
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WhenIsGood is an easy to use tool to find out when all participants are free for an event or meeting. Choose "get started" and click all possible times and dates for an event. Narrow times to particular days and time periods of 15, 30, or 60 minutes. Give the event a title. Additional options include specifying a time zone and viewing of only specific hours each day. After creating the event, write down the result code provided to receive the link to send to participants. Click the box to receive email alerts for any new responses. Participants highlight their choices and submit adding comments if desired. No registration is required to use this tool. You can register for an account to receive a few additional perks: edit or delete activities, no need for result codes with each event, and more.
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tag(s): calendars (44), parent conferences (22)

In the Classroom

Create a calendar for scheduling parent-teacher conferences to send to parents. Scheduling a special presentation and inviting parents? Use this tool to find out what date and time of day will work best. Use WhenIsGood to set up grade level or department meetings. Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as a tool for scheduling meetings, fundraisers, or book fairs.

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Eventbrite - Kevin and Julia Hartz

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Eventbrite is an all-in-one event planning solution. Create your event page including logos, images, and other pertinent information using the templates provided. Take advantage of...more
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Eventbrite is an all-in-one event planning solution. Create your event page including logos, images, and other pertinent information using the templates provided. Take advantage of the option for creating bar coded tickets to send to participants (choose free tickets for the free account, paid tickets have a small charge to cover credit card costs). Once your event page is ready, get the word out using Eventbrite tools such as emailing personalized invitations or various social media options. Use the mobile features to check attendees in at your event and scan bar coded invitations.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): calendars (44)

In the Classroom

Use Eventbrite to increase excitement for any classroom event. Be creative and have students attend an "event" to review for exams (with bar coded tickets they can earn by sharing a student-made review activity). Offer tickets to in class enrichment "events" for those who test out of a unit. Have student groups design "events" instead of giving class presentations. The "event" could be a quiz show or game session that teaches a curriculum topic, such as "World War Wonders." Have your class work together to plan a culminating "event" such as a tea for famous Americans, and issue invitations and tickets to students who play the parts of the people they researched. Invite parents to Open Houses and Conferences. (Perhaps provide a small door prize for those using the Eventbrite app as their admission ticket!) Use Eventbrite to manage events with limited seating or a limited number of participants. If you provide professional development sessions, this is an excellent way to spread the word and manage participation. If you are an advisor for a school club, this tool would make club-sponsored events easier to organize.

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MightyText - MightyText.net

Grades
9 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this tool to create texts from any Android device AND from your computer. Texts are sent using your Android phone number and appear in the inbox of your phone. ...more
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Use this tool to create texts from any Android device AND from your computer. Texts are sent using your Android phone number and appear in the inbox of your phone. Text directly from Google Chrome! Easily sync your videos and images from your phone to computer or tablet. Why use this tool? Managing and responding to texts on the computer is easier when you use power view and can see all conversations at the same time. Additional features include texting from your Gmail account, editing photos using filters, and receiving alerts about the battery life of your phone. If you are an iPhone/Mac/iPad user, you already have similar functionality built in with iMessage.

tag(s): chat (51), classroom management (129)

In the Classroom

Manage texts to students and teachers from your computer or tablet using MightyText. View texts easily on your computer. Send texts to parents reminding them of upcoming conferences. Remind students of project deadlines or tests. Have a snow day? Send students the work so they have less homework the following day. If a student is absent, text the assignments to their device.

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