As educators we know that effective and frequent communication with parents/ guardians helps support the needs of our students. Typically, we pick up the phone in our free time to call home to discuss the happenings of our classrooms with parents. What if you could send a text or email instead?

Have you ever heard one of these in your classroom:

I didn’t know there’s test today.

I forgot my project.

I couldn’t remember which pages to read.

I did’t write down the assignment so, I forgot which numbers to complete.

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Remind will allow you to send text to all (or just certain ones) of  your students, parents or guardians without you having to use your personal number to send it. It is a one way free text messaging/ emailing system that students and parents would have to opt into to use. Another plus: you can use Remind on any device as long as it has an internet connection.

Remind will allow you to schedule your message to send at a later date (maybe for that big test reminder?) and  allows you to attach documents, photos or a voice clip if needed.

 

Getting Started with Remind

1. Go to http://www.remind.com

2. Click on the blue Teacher Sign Up button.

3. Input your name, email, and a password. OR Click the Google button to sign up using your Google account. (I’d recommend the Google method so you don’t have to add another password to your long list of those to remember.)

4. Click the blue Add a New Class button on the left to set up a code specific to each class you teach or group you wish to communicate with.

5. Enter your class name and type a code you wish to use. (Sometimes your code will be taken, but remind will suggest a code for you.)

6. You will be shown a screen with the number students or parents/ guardians should a text to along with your class code. Alternatively, a student or parent/guardian can scan the QR code. If you wish to send a sheet home to request that parents join the contact list, click Download PDF at the top print out the handout and send home with the student. There are also directions on how to sign up to receive email reminders on the handout. You could also invite anyone you wish to join your contact group through email if you have their email address on hand.

You can always find the invitation screen from your dashboard by clicking the blue Invite students & parents button found on the right hand side of the screen.

 

Sending Messages 

In the TO box you have 3 options:

-you can send a message to all classes

-just the classes you select

-individuals who have subscribed

After selecting your recipients, type your message in the box. If you wish to attach a document or picture click the paperclip. If you wish to schedule your message to send out at a later date, click the calendar and set your date/time.

 

Managing Contacts

From your dashboard, you can see who is registered for each class by clicking on the class on the left and then looking at the list of subscribers on the bottom right hand side. You can  clear the entire class or just remove one person. To remove one person click on their name in the list and click Remove from Class

 

Suggested Uses

  • Remind students of homework due the next day.
  • Remind parents of an upcoming event in your class.
  • Invite parents to a special event in your school.
  • Remind students to bring an item needed in class.
  • Send an request of parents to return your call.

 

Why it Matters (Teaching Rubric)

An effective communication system in the classroom leads to a Respectful Culture (essential competency 3.4) by communicating in a way that is professional, positive, and inclusive of all students.   By regularly sharing information about the classroom to families, responding promptly to contact from parents, and developing activities designed to engage families successfully, Remind can help you provide a venue for Stakeholder Engagement and Communication (competency 4.4).

 

Your Challenge

Today’s challenge is to look over Remind and reflect on how you could use this resource to enhance communication with the stakeholders in your classes / school.  Share those reflections in the comments below and if you have another great way to communicate with students, parents or guardians  please feel free to add it to your comments as well.   Commenting on others responses is a great way to share ideas and make educational connections, just remember that “active participation” is more than just an “attaboy” for someone else.  Enjoy!


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38 COMMENTS

  1. My son plays travel baseball. The coach used to send out group texts about practices, tournaments, etc. and sometimes being a part of the group was not such a good thing because people would respond with irrelevant things, jokes, etc. that didn’t really pertain to the group as a whole. One text would lead to twenty between just two members of the group about the NFL game from the weekend and it had nothing to do with you or baseball. Or two parents would work out arrangements for getting kids to practice within the same thread of 25 other people. It just got to be too much so I suggested Remind to our coach. He’s been using it for about a year now and can even attach tournament schedules and Mapquest directions. It has been awesome and that’s my reflection about why I love Remind, but here’s a possible idea for how it can further be used:

    I have been the student council sponsor for a number of years. We are in charge of homecoming ceremonies. Our basketball homecoming is always on a Saturday night and it seems like for years and years without fail, we get a huge amount of snowfall the day of the game, and there has to be a cancellation. In the past I have spent HOURS on the phone calling homecoming court members, photographers, DJs, flower shops, etc. cancelling everything. Now with Remind, when homecoming court members receive packets of information regarding the ceremony and preparation, they get the Remind directions so that I can contact them for dates like bio due dates, photo shoots, practice times, and the dreaded inclement weather cancellation. My point here is, I think a lot of people feel Remind needs to be used for long term, but it can be used for groups that you may only interact with for a short time and it proves very useful.

  2. I love Remind. It’s a tool I’ve used in my classroom for the past couple of years. I send texts to my parents to remind them that library books are due, it’s picture day, report cards came home, and many other things. Last year, Scott School had a severe storm come through the area. While we were in storm positions, I used Remind to text my parents to let them know that we were ok. I also like that you can send texts or pictures to a group and individually. There have been times where I see that a bus is going to be late. Instead of texting my whole class, I can just send out a text to those specific parents whose children ride that bus. Remind is such a simple tool, but it really is one of the best communication mediums that I use in my classroom.

  3. I use Remind as I posted on the Cel.ly day. A way I get a lot of participation from students and parents is that I post it first day on the screen and say “get out your phone” and then print the poster it allows you to make to have it hanging rest of the time. At open house, I have it posted on the screen for parents too and then tell that what I post and that it would be a great way to stay informed. I have more than half of my seniors signed up, and over half of my geometry class.

  4. Remind looks to be a great tool to communicate reminders to parents and students of upcoming events. The plus to this is parents who have a smart phone to receive the reminders. Elementary students are limited in number as to those who have smart phones. This reminds a little of Shutterfly. I used the calendar option in that program/app to list upcoming events and even elaborate details when necessary. The program automatically sends out a reminder one day prior to the date. I think there is a wide venue for using Remind for education.

  5. Remind is a great way to supplement information posted on a class website. So that I don’t duplicate the information on Weebly, I save Remind for the “change in plans” sort of messages that are time sensitive, for example, a change in the time or location of a field trip or school schedule.

  6. I understand the usefulness of Remind and similar programs, however I prefer email. With Remind, you used to not be able to contact individuals. I know students do not use email and they prefer text messages, but for parent contact I still make a contact group for each class. I have parents fill out a Google form after the first day of class that provides me with the most current email addresses. From these forms I can populate my contact groups. They I can contact individual parents as well as the whole group. Some parents will not have email, but these days, nearly everyone has an email. For those that do not, I just have to call if needed.

    For student reminders, I agree that Remind can be useful as they prefer text messages.

  7. I love Remind! The ability to send Google Docs or Word documents is amazing. Remind keeps getting better, and couldn’t be easier to use. If you aren’t utilizing this FREE resource you are missing out on a great way to communicate with parents and students. Everyone always checks their text messages. Sign up. Right now.

    • Mary,
      Thanks for your comments. I just want to remind you that if you are want your comments to be counted for the challenge itself, you need to make sure that you complete the posted challenge each day. While we always enjoy seeing cordial comments, they do not fullfill the “active participation” guidline for the 30 Day Challenge. Thanks again and looking forward to see how you could use this resource or other like it to enhance communication in your classes/ school.

  8. I started using Remind this year. I don’t always remember to send out reminders, but when I do the students have responded. I have multiple classes set up which is helpful teaching three grade levels. I have recommended this to other teachers due to its ease of use and the ability to send messages from mobile devices.

  9. Remind looks great. I would use this tool to remind my school book clubs on events, discussions, and fundraisers. I wish I could use it to remind students when their books are coming due but I wouldn’t want to jeopardize them with their phone going off in class because of one of my text. And yet, I know they should have it off. I do like the fact that this is an app as well as a website and free.

      • Wow!!! I love the idea of a library day reminder. My class has library on Monday and Remind will be so useful in getting a note to families. Thanks for the idea. :)

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