Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you need or want to send a notification to your students for one reason or another? Maybe you forgot to tell them what the homework was. Or maybe you just want to send them an encouraging message during finals week. A couple of years ago I heard about this great new service/app for staying in touch with your students (or parent community, team etc) and it’s FREE!!!!! I was nervous about having a communication tool between me and my students. I didn’t want them to have my phone number or be able to text me with questions constantly. This app makes it so that they don’t see my number and I don’t see theirs. I also turned off the capability for them to reply to my texts (I much prefer the one-way-communication). I decided to give it a go last year because all of my high school students have phones and check them non-stop (note: a phone is not required to sign up for this service, they can also use their email). This was my experience using the Remind app:
Before school started, I set up my Remind account and created a group for my Chemistry students. On the first day of school I had students sign up for my Chemistry group by texting my class code to the Remind number. I told them they should sign up for it, but did not make it a requirement. All of the students who signed up used their phones (they could also use their email if they didn’t have a phone). I had a few students who chose not join at first, but quickly changed their mind because they realized they were missing out!
I love it this app!!! It has come in so handy countless times! Such as…
When I handed out the wrong homework sheet to half of my students. One day, I handed out the wrong homework sheet for an entire class period! I didn’t realize it until a student came to me at lunch confused about the homework because it was from a completely different chapter than the one we were on. Oh no!! I quickly pulled out my phone and sent the class a text through the app letting them know that the actual homework sheet was now uploaded to school loop and that they could swing by and get the real one if they had time. Phew! Crisis averted!
An impossible problem to solve on a worksheet they needed to finish on their own. I gave my students some classwork and then told them to finish the rest of it on their own. It wasn’t until later that I realized there was a trick to solving one of the equations that they were not aware of and without the trick, the problem was impossible to solve. So, I sent them a Remind message telling them about the trick so they could move onto the main part of the problem. Hooray!
Friendly reminders to study for an upcoming quiz or test. We know that many of our students forget to study for quizzes and tests. Some of them even deliberately choose not to study (shocking, I know). Sending out these little reminders can be helpful for students who need a little nudge to make the right choice. I have found it to be beneficial for many students. Quite a few have even told me that they didn’t plan on studying or forgot until they got my Remind text. Hooray!
Wishing them a Happy _________ ! It’s nice to be able to send your students positive and encouraging messages and not just things about homework or classwork. I have sent them a Happy New Year messages to let them know that I was thinking about them and reflecting on the fun we had in the first semester and that I was looking forward to the new year and second semester with them. I have also sent happy Thanksgiving messages letting them know I am thankful for them and even Happy President’s day messages encouraging them to go out and change the world! Who doesn’t like to get a positive message from a teacher or coach?
To send them my feel-good-Friday links when there is not school or I am absent. Last year I missed a Friday with my students and they were not able to watch their “feel-good-Friday” video with me. One of my students told me that they were disappointed and their Friday didn’t quite feel right. We had the following Friday off and I didn’t want it to happen two weeks in a row. So,I decided to make to use the Remind app to share it with them during our week off. When we got back to school they told me they were sad thinking they might not get their “feel-good-Friday” for the week, but were happy when they got my text. Awesome!
Have you tried Remind? What did you think of it? Post your experience in the comments section below.
Until next time,
-The Ardent Teacher
Note- I am not affiliated with the Remind company, nor am I being paid for writing this. All opinions are completely mine.