Home and School Connectio

Ditching the Paper Newsletter

preschool newsletter.png

Raise your hand if you send a newsletter to parents!
{raising my hand}


The importance of communication is huge.
If we want parents to work with us, we must communicate what is going on in the classroom.  Newsletters help us do just that.

In the past, I always created a newsletter on the computer, printed it out and send it home.  I also send the pdf in an email to parents.

It seemed to work at time.  Parents knew what was going on in the classroom.


Then, the last couple of years, this seemed to change.

I was hearing more and more parents saying, 'oh, I didn't read that' or 'i didn't know today was picture day'.

It wasn't for lack of trying.  I had sent the info home on paper and in pdf form in a email.
 

They just weren't opening it.  They weren't opening the backpack and finding the paper nor were they opening the pdf newsletter in their email.

It dawned on me why this might be...

Our society now is busiest it has ever been.  No one can keep up.  If I want our classroom information to be read by parents- I had to make it as quick and easy as possible.  So, I thought about how I like to receive info. It definitely wasn't in paragraph form.  Nor, was it in a pdf that I had to open on my phone.  So, I crafted an email that I myself would read easily.

Here's what I now do instead:
I put everything in email form.  I don't attach a pdf of the newsletter.  I just bullet point everything. This makes our news easy to scan.  I also bold and underline the stuff I do not want them to miss.

Yes, it's working.

This year, I relied on this type of newsletter and thus far and I have not had any uninformed parents.  It's been awesome.  But, I am aware that sometimes, we as teachers, run into a parent that just isn't going to engage no matter what we do.  But, hey... at least I tried!

Bonus... this bullet-pointed newsletter is much easier for me to write up.  Plus, I don't feel like it is a waste of time because it is actually getting read!
 

What types of things I include:

  • Upcoming Events: this is the first thing on my bullet-point newsletter.  I want to make sure my families are seeing these events (if nothing else)

  • New/On-Going Points of Importance: things like conference sign up, items we need in the classroom or reminders (like making sure the kids have gloves)

  • Current Theme: I layout our current theme and I bullet point some of the books we will read, activities we will do and center changes.

  • Ask your child...: Many parents mention how getting information about the school day is hard to do.  So, include an 'Ask your child' section with a question they can ask their child to spark conversations about the day. For example, 'Ask your child about the gingerbread cookie experiment we did.'

  • At Home: Here is a great place to bullet point 2-3 things that parents can help their child with at home.  It many be academic or simple self help skills.

Do you use newsletters?  Have you found simplicity is the way to go?

Share your opinion in this Facebook Post.

Encourage the Home & School Connection with a Fine Motor Tub

Tell me something... do you happen to struggle with making meaningful home and school connections?  

A positive connection between school and families is an integral part of the success of students in the classroom.    It is important for us to try and educate parents on the needs of their preschool aged children.  When parents and educators are on the same page, a child's success can soar.  

Facebook Groups for Class Communication

My phone goes DING! and I know it is another Facebook notification. Sometimes it feels as if social media is taking over our lives!!! But, in all honesty... this year in my preschool class, Facebook has been a blessing. I know, you don't hear Facebook and blessing in the same sentence often.....but, hear me out!

At the beginning of the year I started a private Facebook group for the parents and guardians in my classroom. I wasn't sure how well it would go over- if people would check it or if it might end up in the graveyard of good ideas. BUT, I am here to tell you- it has been amazing!

Here is why...

  • I am meeting parents on a platform they are already hanging out at (not trying to implement a new platform to remember to check).
  • With a little help from me and a lot of love from parents, we have created a community where we can share photos and classroom happenings in a safe and positive environment.
  • Parents aren't just 'hearing' from me about what we are doing in the classroom through a newsletter- they are 'seeing' through photos of the things we do everyday.

But, you may be thinking... I have that one parent who just doesn't do social media. Yep, that is fine- I still send info via email if needed (although I have found that when they hear how amazing the group is, they end up joining us).

You may also be thinking... What if I have a parent that doesn't respect the privacy of other families? Yep, had that same thought. So, I wanted to make sure the expectations were stated before jumping into this. I even created a Release Form so that both parties knew what was expected.

In fact, I included that release form in this email. It makes it clear to parents that they may NOT share/download photos of children other than their own. Go check it out to find the specifics. You will need to add your name to the second bullet on the list.

**Serious Sidenote: I am not a lawyer and this is not a legally binding document. This document basically informs parents of the expectations when joining the Facebook classroom group.

Click below to get the Facebook Release Form

Click here to subscribe


Let me know if you have a class Facebook group and how it is going at this post on my facebook page: