It’s not unusual for me to stumble across a teacher using Remind in a new way. When that happens, I try my best to share their story on social media or here on the blog.
Teachers have found ways to implement Remind into every grade from K-12, and higher ed. As one would expect, we’ve recognized distinguishing differences in the ways Remind is used at each level.
I decided to delve a little deeper into what those differences were, and asked a few teachers to help me out by sharing their stories of how they use Remind at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
At the elementary level
5th Grade; MN
Summary: Communication with parents/families. Bridging gap between school and home.
“I stumbled upon Remind a year ago, and it has made communication with my fifth grade families a breeze! I use it to let parents know of upcoming tests and classroom/school news. I love how quickly and easily I can get word to parents. Parents love the texts and/or emails. It makes them feel more connected to classroom happenings.
“The best feature is the scheduling of future messages. I can plan ahead and schedule a message to go out whenever I want. Want parents to know you have a test coming up but don’t want them to know too far in advance? Schedule the reminder to go out 2-3 days in advance. Slick! The possibilities are endless here!
“I have a few 5th graders sign up for Remind but for the most part it is my student’s parents. They appreciate the communication. It’s easy to sign up for and a great school-to-home communication tool.”
5th Grade Math, StuCo Advisor, & Tech Ninja; TX
Summary: Communicates with parents/families and students with phones. Keeping everyone informed, and on task, with due dates.
“I use Remind to remind my students and parents about upcoming field trips, homework that is due, and other school events. Because I do a flipped classroom model, they have to watch several instructional videos a week, and Remind really helps me with reminding students and parents what is due when.
“It is also a great way to quickly send out reminders about events. I don’t ever even access the Remind website, I do all my messages from the Remind app on my iPhone because it is just so easy to use! I also made sure to sign up for my own class reminders so that I could ensure messages were being delivered! That has really helped with the ‘Well, I never got a message’ excuse.”
It is much more common to communicate with parents during these years as the students are less likely to have their own phone. Giving parents the “inside scoop” on what’s happening in their child’s classroom lets them be involved without being there. It fosters more parent involvement in their studies, and short, quick messages on a regular basis make it less work for the teacher to keep families informed.
I also love hearing stories about Remind being used at this age to give parents tools to help teach at home. Teachers can send spelling words and reading lists to the parents, or trivia questions on what they did in class that day. It takes learning into the evening, and I love that.
At the middle school level
6th Grade Reading and Language Arts
Summary: Easiest communication method to notify parents about classroom work.
“As a 6th grade teacher, I use Remind to send daily messages about homework to parents. The ability to text message parents makes a huge difference. Parents who don’t have access to email, often can receive text messages. I’ve had several parents tell me they really like getting my messages. Several other teachers in my school use it for this purpose, as well. Being able to communicate easily with parents makes my job easier.”
Middle school takeaways
Most middle school teachers communicate with both students and parents.
More students are getting their own phones now, but it’s still a good time to keep the parents involved in messages. It can give the parent a bird’s eye view of what their student is intended to accomplish, while the simultaneous communicate with students empowers them to feel like adults. Sharing messages directly with students gives them an opportunity to prove their own accomplishments…without mom and dad.
In middle school I also see trivia questions and motivational messages start to increase. Motivational messages are a particularly important aspect of communication. No child going through the difficult life adjustment that is puberty can hear, “You’re doing amazing, keep it up” enough.
At the high school level
AP Human Geography, TX
Summary: Communicate directly with students as secondary measure to “writing assignments on the board,” routine changes, and reminders of what to bring to class that day. The option is open for parents to sign up as well, which many do.
“I use Remind to communicate primarily with students although most of my parents subscribe to the updates as well. At open house one parent after another told me how much the loved getting texts from me. They like to be “in the loop” of what’s going on in class. My students actually prefer to get text reminders via Remind rather than having them written on the board. Mostly I send out reminders about due dates and what supplies should be brought to class on a given day but recently I’ve utilized the system to alert my students about last minute changes in our routine (ex. meet in the computer lab instead of class).”
Algebra 1/Honors, Intensive Math 6th & 7th; FL
Summary: Use for classes and organizations. Both students and parents can opt into receiving messages. Send messages on many topics including homework, necessary supplies for days work and scheduling reminders.
“I found Remind on Pinterest this past summer. I have set up classes
for each of the preps I teach. I also sponsor two student organizations.
I provided both the students and the parents with the same group sign-up information. I send all types of information. I try to send homework reminders at a reasonable hour so parents can assist their students. I also send reminders about club meetings, and school holidays. I’ve even sent requests for supplies for my classroom. It has been a wonderful addition to my resources.”
High school takeaways
High school means cell phones are abundant (not like you need us to tell you that). Students are already texting like crazy, but communication via Remind has done something we didn’t expect: it’s bridged the teacher-student gap. Something about the communication via text actually makes students more comfortable with their teachers and more open to asking questions and getting involved.
Most high school teachers make parent sign-ups optional at this level. We believe an enthusiastic parent can benefit from appropriate access to their child’s education, so I love to hear about high school parents still excited to get the messages.
Again, motivational messages, and texts including opportunities to learn after 3 p.m. (trivia, study tips, etc) are great at this age. You’re now getting into a good place where current events and historical dates can be learning moments, and Remind is a great way to foster that.