04 December, 2011

Fostering Communication: Newsletters for Parents

Parents and Teachers . . .
Teachers and Parents . . .

We are partners in the education of children.  Research shows children learn more and understand more of what they learn at school if they are able to discuss with their parents, at home.

Knowing that, how should we as teachers communicate most effectively with parents?

My students are dropped off and picked up in the classroom each day, by their parents.  I try to use those few moments to share any momentous events that may have occurred throughout the day, but clearly I cannot speak with every parent every day.  I therefore frequently communicate with parents through e-mail, and I also use a weekly newsletter.

I have written weekly newsletters for almost every class I have ever taught, and truly I cannot imagine how I would manage without doing so.  True, if you ask me every Friday afternoon what I am going to do that evening, I might grumble a bit about having to write my newsletter, but after it is written, I am always so glad to have done it.  I feel it is an invaluable way for children to recall the events of the previous week, and share with their families.  My hope is that families can read the newsletter together in order to hear and discuss . . .

stories
discoveries
jokes
snacks
news about friends
new learning
problems
frustrations

and on and on.

I write my newsletter every Friday afternoon or evening, and e-mail it to the parents of each child in my class, and the head of our school.  I include photographs of the children at work and at play, photographs of their work and artwork, and other news about our week.  From time to time, I also include links to external web sites that relate to a topic our class might be studying or news about local events I think parents and children might enjoy.

So without further ado, here is a sample.  I hope  by reading this (my most recent newsletter) you will see how I try to communicate with parents, and make it possible for them to share as fully as is possible, in their children's education at school.










How do you communicate with parents?




3 comments:

  1. I just can dream K's teachers are doing something like this. At least part of this. Fantastic! I admire your dedication.
    On the side not, where we can find Shadows in the Woods game? I searched on the Google, but the only site with it is some board games site with general description, not for purchase...

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  2. How do you do this every week? Wow, that is amazing. I am so struggling with keeping parents in the loop. This seems like a lot of curriculum to present in one week, are your kids coming 5 days per week? Are they half day or full day? How do you choose your curriculum? We are doing an alphabet based curriculum, so next week is Gg, we will make gingerbread, read the gingerbread story, etc...how do you incorporate science into cooking, have you ever tried?

    Thanks for your blog, love to eavesdrop!

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  3. Thanks, ladies! Feedback (especially when it is so kind) is so great to have! : )

    Terri, yes my students come 5 days from 8 - 12. Our curriculum is based on specific themes, but we also have the flexibility to add to them or move the timing of certain lessons around - if the children's interests are sparked by something - a creature they have seen outside, weather, a trip to a museum . . . or whatever! Sometimes I feel as if we cover a lot in a brief period of time, and sometimes I feel as if we only cover one thing for a long time. I guess it just depends on the children. : )

    Let me dig around in my files, and I will send you a copy of our themes - if you like, that is. Just send me a message with your e-mail address, and I can mail you all kinds of info! : )

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Thank you for your comments. They are always much appreciated. : )