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In this new series, author and educator Aaron Quigley shows you how to stay up to date with the latest educational technology and classroom management techniques. Each week, he'll introduce you to a new tip you can use to be more efficient, and increase student achievement. Aaron covers concepts like the flipped classroom, Common Core Standards, and the role of social media in education. The series also covers a variety of productivity apps, learning management systems, and other technologies, using a project-based approach that simulates the real K–12 or university classroom environment. Check back often for new tutorials, every Monday with Teacher Tips.
Getting started with Adopt A Classroom.org, is a fairly straightforward process. Here in my web browser, I've navigated to adoptaclassrom.org. >> And I'm going to get started by clicking on Teachers, raise your hand. Here in the teacher page, there's a lot of information to help you determine whether or not Adopt a Classroom will be right for you and your students. I highly recommend you take the time to read through the Frequently Asked Question section. If you do find that Adopt a Classroom is right for you, you can get started by clicking on, Register Your classroom, in the middle of the page. The registration web page is really important. Everything you build into this page is going to be exactly what your donors see.
And to help them determine whether or not to support your classroom. The first step's pretty straight forward, and you need to build in some contact information. Some of the contact information will be visible to donors. So it's important you use email addresses that you wouldn't mind a donor contacting you at. The next step is some information about your school. Adoptaclassroom.org is going to automatically flow some information about your school demographics onto your Adopt A Classroom page. The class information section is probably the most important section here. This is your opportunity to choose the grade level for your students. How many students you teach, as well as the primary area of need.
For example, stem or literacy. After you selected the basic classroom information, you then have the opportunity to write a description for the need of your students. Now one thing I'd recommend, is that you take some time thinking about what the actual need in your classroom is. For example, if you're a teaching organization, and you'd really like to have binders and paper to help your students be organized. Then the need of your classroom isn't necessarily the binders. The need is to teach the students organization skills. And the binders are going to be a tool that allows you to accomplish that. Taking the time to describe your need is going to allow potential donors to empathize with your class.
But I highly recommend something that's around 500 words. Any longer, and some donors aren't going to take the time to read through your entire statement. And any shorter and some donors aren't going to understand the full need of your classroom. The final step, an important step, is to add a photo. One thing to keep in mind, it's important to not show student faces. Or photos that could identify students without the parents' permission. If you take a look at these sample photos here, this middle one for example. The teacher's teaching, the students are looking at the board, so in the photo you can't see any student faces. This style of photo would be a great photo to use for classroom. I highly recommend that you take the time to find an appropriate photo.
And that you upload a photo, so that your donors can connect with your students as well as you the teacher. Once you've completed this entire page, the next step is to click the button to complete registration. Adoptaclassroom.org works in almost three stages. The first stage is to communicate your need. Simply building an account on the adoptaclassroom.org website is not communicating your need. I highly recommend that you take the time to put your need out there on the web. Whether it's through your blog or social media. Or whether you're sending letters to friends and family explaining the need of your classroom. That's going to help you grow your network a lot faster than just creating an Adopt A Classroom account, and waiting for the donors to come to you.
The next step is to communicate success. Now this seems really basic. But you'd be surprised how often on teacher blogs, I hear them talking about the negative things in their classroom. My students don't have paper. My students don't have pencils. These things are a concern. And I completely agree with them that they need a change. However, when we talk about our successes we get people excited about the work that we're doing in our classroom. And that's going to make a donor want to support us. I highly recommend that you be positive as you talk about your students and the needs that they have. And the third step is to make sure you share the donor impact. As students start using the resources and materials that were purchased for them.
It's important to talk about how these resources are impacting the students academic learning. That's going to keep you donors excited. Keep your donors coming back year after year supporting your classroom. And might even allow your donors to reach out to their networks, to see if they can help you even further. One of the large benefits of adoptaclassroom.org is that it really allows you to create partnerships with your donors. Your donors are not just giving to a project, but they're giving to you, the teacher. Here's a few tips and tricks, to help you cultivate those donors, and hopefully create life-long donors for your particular classroom. The first one is make sure you're using social media.
Either blogging or tweeting about your classroom's success. It's really important for donors to understand that you have a need in your classroom and that you're sharing that need openly. This allows people to partner with you and to feel like that they're impacting not only the work that you're doing, but your students as well. The next step is to make sure you share the funding impact. Not just to the donors themselves, but to the larger community. This is going to allow other teachers to sign up for sites such as Donors Choose or Adopt A Classroom. And the larger these networks become, the more people they reach. The more funding ultimately is going to go into education. So sharing your impact might actually benefit a classroom across the hall from you or even across the nation.
It's also important to send thank you notes, from both you and your students. Now adoptaclassroom.org is not going to require this particular step. Which is why it's important for the educator to step up and to take the initiative in sending these thank you notes. There's nothing that brightens a donor's day than getting a thank you note written from a student or from a teacher, talking about the impact their funds had. This is also a great opportunity to teach your students about philanthropy. And the fact that other people are taking an interest in their education. Finally make sure that you post some photos on your class website. Once again, be careful that these are appropriate photos.
Or that you have the appropriate releases to show your students. But it's a great way to visually show people what's happening in your classroom. And what is the impact that you and the donors are having on the students. And finally, ask donors to promote your class. This is going to allow your partners to move from just being financial partners to being classroom partners. They're going to take the passion and enthusiasm you have for seeing your students succeed and share with their social networks. Or a larger group of people in which to share the needs of your students. I hope you enjoy exploring the adoptaclassroom.org website. And that this tool can help build partners for your classroom.
And ultimately impact the achievement of your students.
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