After school activities, family responsibilities, and school assignments are just a few examples students have shared that they have to juggle.
A classroom Google Calendar was created for assignments, events, school spirit days, and other important information. This link was shared on our parent portal. The calendar is updated in real time from any device and is a great way for parents to help support their child. However, isn’t it the child I want to help learn management skills?
I had shared the classroom calendar link with students in an email at the beginning of the year, but then we never discussed it again. Recently, a student happened to ask me if we had any more reading letters due this year because she went two weeks ahead and saw no assignment. She did not know how to move from February to March.
In a teachable moment I shared the parent portal link with students via an email and had them open the site. Then I asked them to click on the classroom calendar link. At the bottom right hand corner of the calendar was a blue plus sign. Like magic, when students clicked the plus sign our classroom calendar opened right on their personal calendar. Lots of OOOOS and AHHHS were heard around the room.
As a class we learned to navigate through the calendar, add an event, and discover some settings. The calendar is something I use every day, but was new to most 5th grade students. By linking my classroom calendar to their individual calendars I have now put the responsibility back in the student’s hands. Several were already discussing adding birthdays and activities while others wanted to explore what future events we had going on in our classroom.
- It is important to continually discuss things as the year moves forward.
- Students need to be linked to a classroom calendar to begin to learn or hone time management skills. They also get excited about upcoming events and feel more in the know, which builds confidence.
- We, as educators, are already updating the calendar and adding things to it. It is an efficient and effective communication tool. Make the transition to share it with students and parents! You will not regret it. In 2015 when I began sharing the calendar with parents, one mother said, “It's like two beautiful worlds colliding.” This year I decided to make that world collide for students. And it sure is beautiful! I am just not sure what took me so long to realize that.