Building Support for Your School: How to Use Children's Work to Show Learning

Building Support for Your School: How to Use Children's Work to Show Learning

Pub. Date:
Teachers College Press

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Building Support for Your School: How to Use Children's Work to Show Learning

This book demonstrates how educators can use children's work to communicate what is being learned in early childhood and elementary school classrooms. Extending the work begun in Windows on Learning: Documenting Young Children's Work, this new book combines Judy Helm's experience with documentation and Amanda Helm's expertise in marketing and public relations to provide the tools educators need to present powerful evidence other than test scores that children are learning. Part I explains the need for school personnel to communicate more effectively and examines how professional strategies can make a difference. Part II presents seven strategies for implementing more effective professional communication. Part III is a handbook of resources on communication techniques.

Book Features: Strategies from the communication field to help teachers and administrators process, display, publish, and share documentation of children's work with parents and other members of the community. Demonstrations of how the strategies and methods are used in real classrooms and schools-including interviews with teachers, administrators, and parents; examples of children's work; photographs; and a full-color insert. Examples of communication pieces used by schools and childcare centers to disseminate information about what children are learning.

About the Author:
Judy Harris Helm assists schools and early childhood programs through her consulting and training company, Best Practices, Inc.

About the Author:
Amanda Helm is an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807747148
Publisher: Teachers College Press
Publication date: 09/18/2006
Edition description: 1ST
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 968,249
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.32(d)

Table of Contents

Preface     v
Acknowledgments     vii
Opening Windows     1
Opening Windows into Schools: Today's Communication Challenges     3
Challenges to Schools     3
The Power of Documentation     6
Meeting the Communication Challenge for Schools Today     10
Opening Windows for Educators: The Need to Communicate Strategically     11
Today's Communication Environment     12
The Need for Trained Communicators in Schools     13
Becoming Professional About Communication     13
Defining Strategic Communication     14
Strategies for Becoming Educator-Communicators     17
Window on the Communication Process: How Professional Communicators View Communication     19
The Communication Process     19
Adapting the Communication Process for Educators     21
Strategy 1-Analyze Your Audience: Understanding Education Audiences     23
Audience Analysis: Focus on Parents     24
Analyzing Other Audiences     30
Strategy 2-Invest in the Most Credible Communicators: Teachers, Principals, and Children     34
High Initial Credibility     34
Building on Credibility     36
Invest in Credibility     39
Strategy 3-Convince with Evidence: The Power of Documentation     40
Documentation Is Convincing     41
Documentation Is Powerful     43
How Documentation Is Used     46
Is Documentation Convenient?     47
Interpreting Documentation     48
Strategy 4-Plan Your Message: Deciding What to Say     50
Two Keys to Professional Communications     50
Structuring Your Message: The Inverted Pyramid     57
Offering Additional Information: The Jump     58
Seeing the Big Picture     59
Planning a Message Calendar     62
Back to the Inverted Pyramid     63
Strategy 5-Incorporate Evidence: Ways to Share Your Documentation     64
Displays     64
Websites     67
Brochures     68
Organizing Communication Events     69
Newsletters     69
Less Formal Classroom Communication Pieces     72
Strategy 6-Follow Design Conventions: Making Communication Look Professional     74
Keep Your Focus on Your Message     74
Design Principles     75
A Final Note on Design Principles     81
Strategy 7-Reach Out to the Media: Connecting with Your Community     82
A Win-Win Situation     83
How Can Educators Reach Out to the Local Media?     84
The Next Step     91
Resources for Educator-Communicators     93
Foundation Builders: Resources for Thinking Strategically     95
Why Think Strategically?     95
Who Can Use Foundation Builders?     95
Doing the Building     95
Talking Points     96
Formal Statements     97
Demographics     100
Psychographics     101
Benefits and Usage Analysis     102
Communication Goals     103
Message Calendar     104
Support Analysis     105
Tools for Opening Windows: Looking Professional     106
Submitting Photos and Artwork for the Media     106
Templates for Display: Using Desktop Publishing and Enlarging for Panels     107
Using the Inverted Pyramid     109
Recommended Resources     109
Press Release Template     110
The Journalistic Pyramid Applied to Class Newsletters and Letters Home     113
The Journalistic Pyramid Applied to Displays and Bulletin Boards     114
References     115
Index      117
About the Authors     120

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