#1. The class spent about 30 minutes adding their parent emails into the "contacts" on the iPad, and adding Laura as well. Those are the only people in their contacts.
#2 Everyone puts in "mom" as the first name of their mom and "dad" as the first name of their dad, and Laura's first nam is "Miss". This makes it easier for students to autofill their parents's names when sending an email.
#3 Laura is "CC'd" on every email that goes out.
#4 Students cannot hit "send" without Laura's permission. They use their paper dictionaries and ask Laura to help with spelling, so editing is an important part of this process.
#5 The class checks email everyday quickly at a certain time. They usually don't respond, unless it is a special project. For example, she has her students send reminders to their parents before a field trip so parents don't need to respond to them.
#6 They use this as a writing grade. They read something, such as Time For Kids, and take a photo of something in the article and email it out. They have to write 3-4 sentences about it what they have read.
#7 Laura prints out the email and grades it for spelling, grammar and punctuation!
#8 Parents respond and the best part of all of this is the questions that the parents are asking their student about his/her writing and the answers that those questions evoke in her students.
Not only do these activities promote good writing, but they are a great means of parent/teacher/student communication.
Thanks for sharing, Laura!