7 Ways to Engage Students and Parents Through Mobile

Whether you have used Remind for years or you’re a new to the service, hearing how others use Remind never gets old. I am a fifth grade math and science teacher and have been using Remind for over two school years. Over that time, feedback from my students’ parents’ has been so positive! Each year Remind is voted by my students’ parents as the number one preferred way of communication. But, don’t just take my word for it. Here are just a few comments from my students’ parents:

 “I LOVE the Remind app! I have my phone with me at all times, so its the best way to communicate with me. Plus, texting/messaging is quick and I can read them even if I’m waiting at an appointment.”

“I like knowing what my child is responsible for each night and I like hearing it straight from the teacher. That way, I know if she has missed something or forgotten to write it down.”

Over the course of my time using Remind, the types of messages I have sent have evolved from sending out daily homework reminders to using Remind as a microblog. I don’t have a class Twitter or Facebook account, or run a public blog at this point. Personally, I am not comfortable posting student pictures and videos online, therefore, I have used Remind as a way to update my students’ parents on classroom activities.

I know that only my students’ parents will see the updates or pictures and none of the information will be able to be seen by others. Also, once parents are signed up for Remind, there is no need to sign up for or join private groups on other social media outlets. Most parents text, but not all parents have social media accounts.

In addition to updating my students’ parents with frequent pictures of student activities, here are some of the many different types of messages that I have used over the years:

1. Make connections to curriculum

Using Remind as a tool to expand the curriculum has been excellent. I enjoy using Remind’s Attach feature to extend learning beyond the classroom and give parents a glimpse of what we are doing on a weekly basis.

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You can also Attach newsletters, permission forms, Voice Clips, and much more!

2. Extend learning 

We all know that learning doesn’t just occur during school hours. Remind helps me alert students and parents to unique learning opportunities that may occur before or after school. Here are some examples of these messages:

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3. Generate excitement

One of my favorite ways to use Remind is to generate excitement for the school day by sending out a message the morning of an exciting event or the night before. Students typically rush in and beg to know what the message meant!

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4. Build excitement and engagement: Classroom Champions

There are so many exciting things that happen everyday in the classroom. From assemblies to projects, to Skype calls, to just small victories. Using Remind is a great way to share the excitement of the day with the students and their parents.

I have been very fortunate this school year to participate in Classroom Champions. Classroom Champions is year-long program that connects students in North America with Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Each month, we receive a video from our mentor athletes (gold medal winning Olympic Ice Dancers, Meryl Davis and Charlie White) on topics such as goal setting, fair play and friendship. Twice a year, we get to chat live with our mentors. I have used Remind throughout the year to keep my students’ parents up to date with the activities that we are completing in Classroom Champions.

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There are many more exciting benefits to participating in Classroom Champions, so if you are interested in learning more about the program, please consider applying today! Applications will be accepted through April 3, 2015. Be sure to check out Classroom Champions main site,  basic information, application, prezi, yearlong review video, and Meryl & Charlie Live Chat Video.

5. Celebrate successes together

Using Remind helps teachers celebrate the great successes that happen for the school. Sending a message straight to parent’s phones keeps them informed:

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6. Connect with students outside of the classroom

Another great way to use Remind is to connect with students on days off. On holidays, I like to remind the students why we are off and give them activities they can do at home. On snow days, I like to encourage creativity and communication. Here are some examples of messages I have sent out that have allowed me to connect with students on days off:

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7. Build relationships with students and parents

Remind can be used to build relationships with parents and students from day one (or even before the first day of school, as you will see below.) It’s nice to be able to send out messages of encouragement and excitement as you are beginning to build a strong relationship with both students and parents:

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Most times Remind is used as a communication tool, but hopefully you have seen how it can be used as an engagement tool, excitement tool, celebration tool, relationship tool and much much more.

Now, with the recent introductions of Stamps and Chat, I’m excited to expand the communication with my students and parents in an entirely new direction. The one-to-one capability offered with the “Chat” feature will allow me to send specific parents and students reminders, allow parents and students direct, quick contact, and allow me to send short messages of praise and encouragement to my class. I am most excited about sending individual messages of praise because one area that I would like to improve is sharing specific student successes with my students’ parents. I would like to use Chat to quickly contact individual parents without having to make a phone call or type out an email. Although I can also email my students, being able to text them directly in a safe, instant, and engaging way!

If you have used Remind, please feel free to share some of the different types of ways you use it in your classroom. If you are just starting your journey, feel free to connect with me on Twitter at if you have any questions.

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