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Building Relationships with FreshGrade

What are you learning and why is it important?

Brad was inquiring about how he might leverage FreshGrade to build relationships with the students at his school and the greater parent community. As an administrator when it comes to student behaviour Administrators are at times the last stop and are forced to deal with situations in a reactionary manner. Brad wanted to see if FreshGrade might allow him to be proactive and build rapport with students and families who might be struggling by offering feedback and praise on all of the good things they are doing.

Brad leveraged the power of FreshGrade in three ways:

- Each teacher at Watson Road Elementary invited him as a co-teacher of their FreshGrade classes. Every week Brad purposefully set aside time where he would go into the portfolios of the students who were visiting his office most often and make positive comments relating to their learning.

- Another opportunity Brad saw with FreshGrade was to use it to advocate for students who at the time might not have anyone to do so for them. Brad simply added these students to his list and ensured that every so often he added a comment to their portfolio on just how proud he was of the progress they were making with their learning.

- Lastly, Brad was able to engage with students and their families while on supervision. These are conversations that he may have never otherwise had if he was not connected to them on FreshGrade.

How is it going with your learning?

This proactive approach paid huge dividends. There were fewer students that needed Brad to support them with making positive choices which as a result provided additional time for classroom support and time to engage with students. In addition, he formed positive relationships with a number of the parents in his school community and was able to model effective formative feedback for parents and educators.

What are your next steps?

Brad learned how technology can be utilized to build relationships across his school community. He was more connected to the great work his teaching staff was doing around assessment, he was connecting with students in authentic and meaningful ways about their learning, and he could now engage with parents in personal ways about their child’s learning experiences. This is a great example of how digital portfolio tools similar to FreshGrade can be used by all educators that support classrooms. Indigenous Advocates, Teacher Librarians, Education Assistants, Learning Assistant Teachers, Resource Teachers, etc. can all benefit from a window into a child’s education where they can get a sense of a child’s strengths and next steps and engage in a proactive manner. Next steps in this journey for Brad include how this approach might support him in a high school setting where multiple digital portfolios and gradebooks tools are used.

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