I do my best to communicate with parents regularly. This is an
area that I would love to improve in because I still have a lot to
Beginning of the Year
Testing Letters and
Special Event Letters
Storing Parent Communication
Every teacher is required to send home a
Friday Folder every Friday (obviously!) at my school. The
purpose of this is to improve parent/ teacher communication. Inside this folder is student work, flyers
and information from the school and teachers and a conduct and
work habits grade. Grades are also sent home every three
weeks in the folder. Since it is a school wide system, all
parents know to look for the folder on Fridays. Parents review
the folder, keep the contents and then send the folder back signed.
At the end of a nine weeks I keep the paper as a record of behavior
and also use it determine what should be marked on the behavior
section of the report card. On Monday mornings, students turn them
in to a designated spot. I go through each folder to make sure
it is signed and check for any parent notes inside. Students
without their folder get their name written on the board as a
reminder (well for me, but it helps them too!), but do not get a
punishment. I tell students we all forget things from time to
time. However, if the student does not have it on Friday, they
lose time off recess.
here to see the Friday
Folder behavior/ work habits form
To keep all this organized I have a
Friday Folder box.
In a crate I have
several hanging file folders label 1 to 26. Each student
has been assigned a number. At the back of the crate
I keep all the Friday Folders that have been signed. Whenever
I grade any papers that need to be retuned on Friday, I stick
them in the Friday Folder basket. Students then file
them in the correct folder. Same thing for flyers:
anytime I receive any flyers or newsletters in my box I put
them at the front of the Friday Folder box so students can
file them. This is very easy, because I do not do
the majority of the work. Students can file during free
time when work is completed or bus call.
This year I
decide to splurge. I have really been wanted a
literature sorter to use for my Friday Folders, but could not
justify a $75 purchase. Last weekend I went to Office
Max during their Teacher Appreciation weekend. I
found this literature sorter for only $54.99!
There are 24
compartments and I am hoping I will have no more than 24
students. On top of the literature sorter is a plastic
basket for work that needs to be filed. I labeled each
"box" with a number instead of student names so the boxes can
be used year after year!
Here is a picture
of the literature sorter. On top I have a labeled basket
for work that needs to be filed in the Friday Folder boxes and
a pencil sharpener on top as well. It is right next to
my refrigerator on the back counter.
My teammate and
I *try* to send home a newsletter in every Friday Folder. In
the newsletter we note any important dates, and information coming
up. We also give parents a "heads up" about what will be
taught the NEXT week so parents can prepare at home if they want
too. Parents have told me in the past they would rather know
what was were about to do, rather that what we were doing. We
try to keep the newsletter short and simple so parents might
actually read it!!
here to see the newsletter I created in Word as a template.
Here is an example of
this newsletter filled in.
I created another
newsletter form for
my second grade students. It is very similar to my other
newsletter, but I added pictures to make it more "cutesy primary!"
Here is an excellent
newsletter template that was shared from another teacher at my
school. Thanks, Kathleen!
here to see free Microsoft templates.
Here is another link for free newsletter templates.
Kelly's Kindergarten has monthly templates
Here are some more templates from Education-World
ABCteach has this
simple template and
Beginning Of the Year
At the very
beginning of school I send home a handbook for parents and students.
This has all the essential information about how our classroom
works. From grades and behavior to birthdays and attendance.
It is all there. Parents sign and return the bottom slip.
This way no parent can say they did not know!!! Click
here to see Parent Packet explaining classroom procedures and
schedules. Here is my most current parent handbook from the
2007-2008 school year. This is geared toward my second grade
class. Many of my awesome teammates in second helped me add
new ideas to the packet, so not all these ideas or words are mine.)
Here it it is
PDF and here
it is in
Positive Post Cards
At the beginning
of the school year I sit down and and address a post card with a
cheerful saying on front about "Good News from School!" (we get
these free from the company that takes the student portraits).
I address AND stamp them. My goal is to send home ALL of the
post cards by the end of the year. I keep them all rubber
banded on my desk. When I have a spare moment, I flip through
the stack of cards and jot down a quick note to the student and/or
parents noting something special the child has done: improved in
behavior, great job on a project, befriended the new kid in class,
etc. I drop them in the front mailbox the next morning
in the front office. Parents love this AND the kids love this.
By going ahead and pre-addressing the post cards I accomplish two
Special Events Letters
I send this letter home the week before
standardized testing to notify parents. Very simple, two notes
to a page. Click here
to see testing note.
How to Help Letters
These letters give tips to help parents
work with their child at home. I did not create these, but cut
and pasted to meet my needs. I give these out during conferences to
the parents of students who are struggling. I also keep them
out on a desk by the door so while parents are waiting for a
conference, they can grab a sheet. Click
here to see the
letter on reading. Click
here to see the letter on writing.
Another great website for lots of parent
Kelly Bear. There are several parent handouts that are
I do not have a letter for this section.
However, I DO send home grades every three weeks that students
return with a parent signature. Our grades are done on the
computer. All I have to do is select reports and print and I
have all the information I need to send home.
However, my team mate DID create a letter
that we attach to grades if a student has a D or F in Social Studies
or Science (the standardized test becomes pass fail for students
with a D or F) or if the student has a C (they are in danger
of the standardized test becoming pass/fail in science of social
Click here to see the letter notifying
parents about grades.
What Do You Do
With It All?
This is just a plastic milk crate.
I have 25 hanging folders that are numbered. Students are each
given a number at the beginning of the school year. I keep all
the students information in the corresponding hanging folder. I keep
a red folder with a matching number in the corresponding folder for
JUST parent notes and correspondence. I put student work
samples and anything else I might need to keep about the student in
the actual hanging folder.
Since the folders are labeled with
numbers , I can reuse the crate every year.
This is something our
PTA asks the room moms to create at my school at the beginning of
the school year. However, when I was surfing the 'net several
people were discussing this. This is how it works at my
school: the room mom sends home a form with each child. The
from lists the child's name, parent's name, phone number and any
preferences. Some parents ask that there be no phone calls
after ___pm, and others might mention an allergy.
The students send them in filled out WITH
a parent signature. Then the room mom types it up into a one
page Word document, usually with a cutesy border. I laminate
it and send home in the Friday folder!
Other great websites with information
about parent communication are