Do you struggle communicating regularly and effectively with your parents? Do you dread writing the same notes over and over every year? Do you have to hound your parents just to send in an absent note when their child is out? This is the story of my teaching life!I am a BIG proponent of parent communication. It is one of the keys to a successful school year. Therefore, I will go above and beyond to get in touch with the parents of my students. My school community seems to be more dependent on paper notes going home with their child about school events, important dates, and student progress. I know many of you, use your smart phone apps to communicate with parents. I only have a few families that use email regularly to communicate with the school. I always give my parents my school email address at the beginning of the year. Usually, I only have about 4 families that use it during the school year.
To accommodate the most families possible, I send home a list of important news on the cover of my students' weekly homework packet each Monday. I send reminder note, after reminder note when I don't get things back. I send emails to those parents who use that as a way to communicate. I have to say, I am pretty persistent. But it is time consuming! And we all know, teachers don't have ANY extra time.
I decided it was time to streamline my parent notes and information packets. I created 3 different binders for parent notes to use throughout the year, parent/teacher conference forms, and Back To School & End of the Year preparation packets. I have worked on these packets all year to make sure they are user friendly and accessible for teachers to use in their classrooms.
My Don't Miss the Boat Parent Notes and Reminders has been my go to packet all year long! It has been a year long work in progress to create. I didn't want to leave anything out. It has over 40 different parent notes and reminders to use throughout the school year. Each note comes in half sheet and quarter sheet forms to help save on paper and ink. This packet included everything from reminders about upcoming school events (Back to School Night, conferences, Open House etc.) to absent note forms and missing assignments.
The notes I use most frequently, I photocopy on colored paper at the beginning of the year. I store them in a basket by my desk, so I can grab them at a moments notice. When I use a class set, I just copy and few more and I am all set. Some of the notes have places to add information or personalize the note with a student's name before you photocopy it. Click on the picture below to grab a FREEBIE sample page from the packet. I hope you love it!
As the school year begins to wind down, I always start to prep for the next school year. At my school, each grade level prepares a packet of information to give to the parents of the new incoming grade level students. I teach second grade, so my grade level (there are only 2 of us) prepares a packet to give to the current first grade families and any new incoming students. I created an EDITABLE packet for all grade levels, to use. It includes a place for expectations in reading, math, writing and social skills. I also has a sample grade level fluency passage, writing assignment, and supply request form. Click on any of the pictures below to check it out.
How do you feel about parent communication at your school? in your classroom? What works for you and what doesn't? I would love to hear from you.