A major discussion my sponsor teacher and I had about Freshgrade was at what age is it acceptable to students to have access to their own portfolio?!
Obviously this will be up to your discretion as a future teacher but take a second and think – At what grade do you think it would be beneficial for students to see their portfolio, comments from parents and teacher, as well as grades?
In giving students access to the app, you are creating an opportunity for students to not only view the work that their teacher has uploaded but upload work themselves and self-assess. Sometimes, students can very proud of a project they have done but not always be confident enough to ask to share it with the class!
Fresh grade provides an outlet for students to be proud of their work without the rest of the class having to see!
Freshgrade is an app all parents can download from the app store, google play or any modern browser. Parents will be able have a window into the learning that their child is doing at school.
Through photos, videos, audio and notes there will be no more surprises when report card week rolls around. Going through the education program at VIU, we have been taught that communication with parents is a MASSIVE part of our future career.
Open, and thoughtful communication with parents about their child’s learning is best for everyone involved. Fresh grade creates this platform. The Freshgrade app will send parents notifications right to their mobile device whenever there is an update on their children’s portfolio. Parents have the option to comment on posts about their child which the teacher can view and reply too!
Firstly, before starting practicum this year I had heard and read about this new program but had never seen it used first hand. For my first blog post, I thought that I would share my first experience with Freshgrade through my sponsor teacher. The frustration of getting parents on board. The first couple of weeks my sponsor teacher had tried every means of communication to get parents signed on. Through letters home, emails, and phone calls, most parents had figured it out and decided to join the online world of fresh grade. Although there was still those parents who had not yet joined the site. This took me by surprise because what parent wouldn’t want an online window into what your child does at school everyday?! The only solution to this issue that i observed was persistence. Keep sending those emails, letters home, and how-to instructions to parents and if it comes to it, a phone call home to talk them through the steps of signing up worked!
After you’ve over come this obstacle, you’re almost in the clear. Once you have gotten the basics down, you have some decisions to make. Firstly, what do you want to include on your fresh grade portfolios for students? After discussing with a couple different teachers about how they chose to use the site I have realized that there are so many options!
Do you want to use Freshgrade as a way to keep grades for EVERYTHING the students do?
Do you want to use Freshgrade as a marker for just major milestones?
Will you use the gradebook section or the portfolio section or both?
After you have decided what you want to use your fresh grade account for, let the fun begin!
**Freshgrade tip: When uploading an assignment, video, comments or specific grades to FreshGrade, my sponsor teacher will upload everything first, under the private setting (top left corner of grade screen), double check she has entered everything correctly, and then make it all visible to parents at once to avoid entering errors.
As most of you already know, Freshgrade is an online E-portforlio that allows teachers to capture learning as it is happening and upload it to this website. During a Pro-D day during practicum, my sponsor teacher led a workshop on FreshGrade. The first question that came up was how do I log on and create an account? I wish I would have recorded her step by step instructions at the time because she explained it perfectly but of course that didn’t cross my mind. So, here is a video that talks you through the very first steps of FreshGrade and how to create your class list.