I'm enjoying my final weekend before school starts, and I wanted to share something that I started using last year and ended up just LOVING! It's an awesome way to connect with parents, and to give them a peek into your classroom.
I set up an account on Shutterfly and found that it was the perfect way to share photos with parents. I love the idea of a classroom blog, but I already have this blog and a family blog, so I just can't think of managing another one. This solution is quick and easy, and my parents really liked it! Score!
In case you're curious how this works and are wondering how to get it all set up for you (it's super simple!), here are the steps to follow:
1. Create an account on Shutterfly. I already had an account for my own personal photos, but I used my school e-mail address to create a second account. This account is only used for school photos.
2. Once you have your account, you can create new folders by uploading photos at any time. I tried to upload photos once or twice a month to share with parents. I kept it really simple and used the date as each folder's title.
3. You will need to get an e-mail address from each parent that would like the photos sent to them. The address book on Shutterfly is easy to use. You'll enter each e-mail address, and then I like to put them all in a group so that when I go to share my photos, all I have to do is click on that group and it will include everyone.
4. When you're ready to share your photos, follow these steps!
It will allow you to type a short message to go along with the album you are sharing, and will also send you the same e-mail that it sends to everyone else. I always liked that because it allowed me to see what the parents were seeing when they got my photo e-mails.
It's all super simple and I got very positive feedback last year from my parents. They loved it because it gave them a peek at what we were doing at school and they were able to order any of the photos they wanted to keep using their own Shutterfly accounts. If they don't have their own accounts on Shutterfly, they can still view the photos, but won't be able to save or order them.
I send this form home at the beginning of the year for parents to fill out. I also make note that they have the option of not having photos of their children posted. Last year, none of my parents had a problem with it...in fact, every single family wanted the photos shared with them.
(click the image to grab this from Google Drive)
Shutterfly has no idea who I am. :) This is not an incentive-driven post. It's just something that I happen to love, and wish my own kids' teachers would do! It motivates me to take lots of photos of my students, and is a great way to keep parents connected with what's happening at school. Win-win!