Sunday, July 1, 2012

Classroom Newsletters

Classroom newsletters are such an important part of communication between home and school---bridging the gap! Young children have such a hard time expressing (and pulling out the important info.) about what they accomplished, learned, and worked on each day/week at school.

You know how it goes...

Parent: what did you do at school today?

Child: play

Parent: What did you play?

Child: blocks with Tommy.

Parent: What was the best part of your day?

Child: Lunch and recess. Oh, and snack time!

Painful, right?! To avoid the communication barrier between parent and child, I put out my newsletters weekly--on Thursdays (because my Pre-K's do not attend school on Fridays). Some of you are cringing right now, I know. But I like to give a a nice summary about what we've been working on, how the classroom environment has changed (i.e.: what's going on in the developmental play centers, stations, themes, etc.), and what's coming up in the next week or few weeks.

I think that weekly newsletters are SO important for a variety of reasons...thus, my goal is 2-fold: to inform, and to educate. Educate what?---the parents! A trickle up effect----helping give the parents dialogue and specific information and questions to ask in order to have a meaningful conversation about their child's education, WITH their child!

I'm a mother of three elementary aged children, a wife, a full time teacher, a blogger, and seller on TN and TPT (mostly TN, though) where, oh WHERE, do I find the time? Honestly? After 8pm (that's when the kids go to bed) on Wednesday evenings. Sometimes this makes for a late evening, depending on what else is going on....but it's quiet, I can reflect on the week, and find a few relevant pics of the children in action in the classroom.

I've seen a lot of pre-made templates on TN and TpT and have had some inquiries as to what I put in my newsletter. So, I thought I'd share! I simply use a pre-made template on my Mac. I've made my categories and plug in my information. What's included?

  • Week in Review
  • We also learned...
  • Important Dates
  • Contact Info
  • 2-3 Photos
  • Kids Speak! 
Not too many's only 1 page so that it can be read quickly----short, sweet, and to the point. I love the Kids Speak! category. Kids say the funniest things----whether it be a comment, inference, prediction, using background knowledge, or simply just a funny statement....I love to remember the moments that keep us laughing. I include 2 students' photos each week with their quotes. SO FUNNY---or so touching that they've recalled important concepts and shout it from the rooftops!! And, when I pass on my newsletter to my administrator each week, he often comments that he looks forward to my newsletters, especially the Kids Speak! section, and how it is often the highlight of his week. 

Additionally, I use my classroom blog (not this blog for teachers. A different blog for parents) keep parents informed and share tons of photos about what we are learning weekly. About 60% of my class follows my blog---so I know information is getting out there between all the various modes of communication.

If you want to view my newsletter, CLICK HERE. Also---feel free to leave a comment...I'd love to hear how often you publish a newsletter and what do you include?


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