During these unprecedented school closings, teachers are seeking ways to stay connected with students. Sometimes, the simplest methods are the best!
Many teachers left school on a Friday, not knowing schools would be closed over the weekend (with no time to send resources home for students).
As teachers struggle to find ways to support students’ learning, digital learning often comes to mind. The PEW Research Center completed extensive research (in 2019) related to the Digital Divide, and how many American adults own cellphones, smartphones, and computers.
Some of the results follow:
• “A significantly higher percentage of people today own cellphones than desktop or laptop computers.”
• “A substantial majority of Americans are cellphone owners across a wide range of demographic groups. By contrast, smartphone ownership exhibits greater variation based on age, household income and educational attainment.”
• “Rural Americans generally remain less likely than urban or suburban adults to have home broadband or own a smartphone.”
• “95% of adults in the lowest income bracket own a cell phone, but only 72% own a Smartphone. These basic cellphones can receive texts, but generally can’t access complex websites or download resources.”
Based on this information, it appears that teachers can reach a far greater percentage of students’ families by sending simple text messages than by sending complex documents which can be accessed only with the capability of computers or smartphones.
So, I have created this series of short and simple text messages which can be sent to families of kindergarten students. This set of messages focuses on ways to support their child in regards to math. These are designed to be a starting point, which teachers would modify to meet the needs of their students.
Text messages are familiar to most people with a cellphone. Websites and new systems to explore may not be.
By sending texts such as these, on a regular basis, I believe we can keep in touch with more students. In doing so, we can remind students that we are thinking of them, and systematically help parents provide academic support.
Many thanks for stopping by and taking a look. I wish you all the best during this difficult time.
Sincerely, Anne Gardner (NBCT)
* This printable PDF is available for immediate download. *