Transparent Classroom: A Window into Your Child's Montessori Day
Parent engagement is one of the most effective ways to boost a child’s joy and connection to learning, and studies show that parent involvement even translates to higher academic success. At Guidepost, we use modern technology to build this vital partnership through a smartphone app called Transparent Classroom.
What Is Transparent Classroom?
Transparent Classroom is a record-keeping tool leveraged by both educators and parents. It was specifically designed by Montessorians for Montessori classrooms. Since assessment of a child’s learning in a Montessori classroom happens daily as part of the individualized learning model, there is significant opportunity to engage parents more regularly than in non-Montessori programs. This is a major advantage considering that parent involvement translates into positive learning outcomes for the child.
How Does It Work?
Once your child is enrolled, you can download the app on your phone and also access the browser version of Transparent Classroom from your computer. This app enables you to see photos and lessons that your child has worked on throughout the day. You will also receive notes, classroom updates, and upcoming events through email notifications. For infants and toddlers, you will receive daily reports detailing your child’s eating, sleeping, and toileting routines. For Children's House and elementary age students, updates will occur about 2-3 times per week.
Transparent Classroom is also where your child's Lead guide will track your child's progress throughout the school year. These updates can be accessed on your computer browser. Prior to Parent/Teacher conferences, you will receive a summary of this report to discuss with your child's guide.
You can personalize your notification preferences, opting to see updates via email, text, or in the app. You can also log in from a computer, where you’ll have access to a classroom directory. With the directory, you can choose to share household contact information and connect with other Guidepost parents for play dates, birthday parties, and other community events.
How Does It Differ?
Using technology in this way modernizes the notion of a hard copy “report card.” As a parent, this enables more updates, as well as updates that provide more in-depth feedback. Transparent Classroom sheds light on what your child is learning, what the teacher’s real-time assessments are, and provides information on the learning materials and activities. For example, if you’re not sure what a “binomial cube” is, you’ll have access to a clickable link that briefly explains this sensorial 3-D puzzle found in the Children’s House.
Parents who regularly use Transparent Classroom cite benefits like:
- I am up to date on what my child is working on each week
- I am plugged into my child’s strengths and weaknesses
- It gives me concrete ideas on what to ask my child about their school day
- It gives me ideas on how I can complement their learning at home
- I feel more connected to my child’s overall trajectory
- It gives me a reference point when having discussions with my child’s teacher
How to Use It at Home
Build upon these communication updates to better connect with your child!
Here are some ideas:
- Instead of prompting your child with, “How was your day?” or “What did you learn?” — try being more specific based on what you’ve seen them work on in the app. “I noticed that you chose to work on math again! Your teacher showed me this photo of the multiplication board.” The more specific you are with your child, the more natural it is for them to respond. It can also be helpful to wait to inquire until dinner or bedtime, as opposed to right after school when they most need to decompress.
- Note their strengths and weaknesses, and work with the Lead Guide to see how you can complement these areas at home. This is a careful balance, as there is no need to duplicate the child’s classroom work at home, but there are ways to bridge extensions that empower your child to refine skills.
- Repurpose the updates to celebrate your child’s learning. You can make yearly scrapbooks that organize highlights of the child’s work, combining their take-home projects, art, and Transparent Classroom photos for a year-in-review gift! Many children take great delight in the opportunity to reflect and share in these moments!
Jenna is a trained journalist and writer whose parenting journey transformed after implementing Montessori at home with her three children. She is a passionate advocate for bridging Montessori to the mainstream as a means to build community, empower parent-child relationships, and honor learning as the lifelong journey that it is. She holds a Montessori in the Home certificate from The Prepared Montessorian.
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