During this time of uncertainty it is difficult to find an effective, confidential way to communicate with the students on your caseload. I will outline the method I have used for contacting my 6th-8th grade students during e-learning. Please share any other ideas you have been found effective in the comment section.
using google tools
Unfortunately, google classroom is not a confidential tool for communication. When you add all of your students to a google classroom, every individual with access can see every student within that class. The solution to the problem is to create a google classroom for every individual student or group you service. Another solution is to utilize google websites & google drive.
I have personally found using individual homework folders in google drive to be the most effective tool for my students and have been using it for a few years now. It is pretty time consuming to set up, but helps you to keep every student's progress & work completion organized in the long run. I used this very helpful tutorial from Autumn Bryant:
Once my google folders were created, I added the homework folder link to our resource, instructional math & ELA google classrooms. I was able to select which students I wanted to assign "speech homework" to (mostly all of the students in those classes receive services).
I also send out a weekly e-mail to students & parents with a reminder of how to access their homework folder and to e-mail me if they need me to add more assignments to their folder. I include a link to the homework folder and a link to my website.
here is a preview of my website. It was very simple to set up and you can create a website from your google e-mail account.
In addition to sending out an e-mail with my students' homework folder, I also include a link to join my REMIND text group to receive text updates and to encourage families to communicate with me through text since many do not have internet access at home. REMIND is simple to set up- just make sure to check your group settings so that members cannot see who else is in the group.
Our district requires us to keep a running log of communication and attempts of communication with our students. Here is the format I have been using- feel free to use the same!
What have you found to be effective when communicating with your students? To be honest, I have not heard back from 85% of my caseload so am open to new suggestions!