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Classroom Newsletters

Compiled By: luv2teach77

Whether it's monthly or weekly, classroom newsletters are a great way to strengthen parent/teacher communication. Here's a collection of ideas to use when creating your own classroom newsletter with several templates to use as a guide.

Online Newsletter
Posted by: Mrs. JC

I have a new web page this year. During open house ( the night before school started) I polled parents about the web page. I had a sign up sheet for parents who have internet access at home or at school and who would like to get my weekly newsletter via the hyperlink on my web page. 14 out of 22 signed up. The most common comment was "Most of the time.. Johnny doesn't even get home with the newsletters"!

I copy and paste to "run off" the other 8 copies. I send them home with the students. It does save a lot of time and paper!!
I would send a message in a paper version of your newsletter asking parents to go online and send you an email letting you know if they would be interested in accessing your web page to get your newsletter.

Parents also like seeing the assignments posted weekly.
Good luck!

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Posted by: Emily4th

I always start the year with sending them home weekly, but that usually tapers off around December. I have been inspired by Beth Newingham to create a fun template. This is in Publisher, but I will attach it as a JPEG as well.

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monthly newsletter
Posted by: Susan

I love doing a monthly newsletter for parents. I include the following:
*subject matter (what we're studying in each area)
*field trips
*new rules or changes in rules
*reminders about anything that is getting lax(supplies, signing agenda, etc...)
*class parties
*volunteer information
*I include a place at the bottom for the parents to sign saying they read the newsletter - they tear that off and return it to me.

I put lots of clipart on there to "dress it up" and I keep it to one page. The first newsletter of the year always has the class rules on them. I also send a letter introducing myself, and another form to fill out for me to keep (that tells me about their child). That's the only things I send home the first day from me - there are usually more from the office, though!

Weekly Newsletter
Posted by: tbsrwilson

Here is mine. I am trying this for the first time this year as well. I will send mine home weekly on the back of the weekly behavior report. If you would like the PDF version, email me. It is too big to post here.

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Posted by: Michele

I send home a newsletter each week, I include students who get 100% on their spelling, and kids who have no missing assignments/straight A's. I also make up stuff to make sure that everyone gets there name in the leetter once a month or so. I have gotten super feedback from parents, and it only takes a few minutes of my time. I just use our word program, and put CLASSROOM NEWS on the top, and the date below. Then I go and make a table with two columns, and just write in those. If I don't have much information, I just add pictures, or lmake the type REALLY BIG to take up lots of space.:o) I know other teachers who actually shrink down their students work and include that, but that is just too much work for me.

As for the different languages in your room, I'm lucky, I just have Spanish speaking parents, but I have had my students translate the newsletter as a part of their daily work( I have to get stuff ready earlier for this, but it's learning for them too.) With so many languages, it would be difficult to make sure the kids are actually writing what you wrote though, how about adult translaters, or upper grade volunteers (from your local highschool?) I live in a tiny town, and we have high school kids come down for stuff like that.

Good luck, sorry this is so long! :o)

Posted by: anne

I tend to do a newsletter for each theme. For example, when I do a big unit on Spiders for the month of Oct. I titles my newsletter:Spider Spectualar! I listed what we would be doing, voc., different skills we would be studying,etc. I also try to put some different activities that the students can do with their parents (or alone, or with another peer or older brother/sister). For example, during our spider unit, I introduced fact and opinion and in the newsletter I had an activity where the students seperated sentences into two stacks: fact or opinion. (I had typed the sentences on the newsletter, and all the kids had to do was cut and seperate.) I got alot of great feedback from parents. I also listed writing topics (related to spiders), that the students could work on at home. I listed web sites and had a wish list of supplies that we needed for this unit. Last year was my first year to do the newsletter, but because of the great commments from parents, I plan on doing it again. I don't have time to do it every week--that is why i liked doing it by theme. I also put a response form at the bottom of the newsletter that the parents can write comments, questions, remarks, etc. and cut off and return to me...that makes the communication more two-way. I was surprised how many parents responded!
Good luck!

Posted by: Jana

I send home a weekly newsletter to my parents, and have found that once you have your 'format' in place, it's very easy. (especially for you if you only have to do it once each month... however, yours would be longer than mine.) I keep my letter to 1 page, front and back. I include info in the following areas:
1. I start with 'A Peek at the Week.' (In your case, a Peek at the Month.) I write a brief synopsis of our 'theme', usually tied to our reading series or a particular holiday. Include some of the main things you've worked on in writing workshop, projects, etc. This takes up 1/2 of a page in my letter.

2. Next i move to bulleted points, with the sub-title 'Other Activities Included:' Here i bullet the following areas... Guided reading work, math, read alouds, songs, etc. Your options are really endless here. I try to key parents in to what we're doing during Guided REading groups, phonics work, math concepts, etc. This is a lot of info, so you can be very precise.

3. Next i include an 'Announcements & Reminders' section. I bullet important upcoming dates, holidays, etc. This is also a good place to ask for supplies, discuss upcoming fieldtrips, ask for volunteers, whatever...

4. I end with a section of questions which i title "Questions to ask your child..." This is a GREAT way to give your parents open-ended questions so they can 'talk school' with their child without their child saying 'I don't know...' I include around 5-7 questions which might cover reading, math, special activities, etc. For example: "You heard a story called 'Whiff, Sniff, Nibble and Chew.' How was this story different from the other Gingerbread Boy stories you heard? Tell me about it... -or- You used M&M's to work on permimeter, tell me how you figured out the problem. What is perimeter? Your options with the questions are really endless.

Since you're putting together your letter once a month or so, it'd be really nice if you could include some student work. You could photocopy work, or have students work on computer pieces, book reviews, etc.

Here is a copy of mine...
Posted by: Nicholettev

Not sure if you have publisher...but if you do...take a look at mine!


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Posted by: Virginia

I send home monthly first grade newsletters advising families of things we have been working and also preview what's ahead.

I also send home weekly class "newspapers". I formatted a simple one-sheet newspaper that contains the week's news, including Student of the Week, homework assignments, and parent reminders. This paper is authored by two first graders each week. (I make sure everyone has a turn to be a "reporter".)

At the end of each day the reporters dictate a sentence containing news for the day. I transcribe it onto a large flipchart. Every Friday I copy the week's news and type it onto the newspaper format I saved on my computer.

I always save an extra copy to be placed in a special binder in our classroom....the children love to reread these.

I have received much positive feedback on these newspapers. Also, I copy the reporters' pictures at the top of each issue to really give it that "professional" look!

I hope this is of help to you.


Posted by: Katie

Susan - I love your idea about having the parents sign at the bottom of the newsletter, letting you know they have read it. I'm going to do that as well this year!

Also, with regard to newsletters, you could also ask the children to tell you one fun thing they did in school each time you prepare to write new newsletters. It's a great way to incorporate kids' opinions while at the same time sharing w/ parents the many fabulous things you do in the classroom that their child may not be telling about at home.

Posted by: tia

oh, goody--i get to use the attachments!

i'll attach 3 of my newsletters from this year--they pretty much have the same format: questions for parents to ask kids, vocabulary words, important dates what we're studying this week (my newsletters go home in Monday Folders), and blurbs on any other timely topics

feel free to contact me if you have any questions:p

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Posted by: Mrs. G

We do a simple newsletter each week. We use word and create two columns. This way we can fit two newsletters on the sheet so we can save paper. Attached is a sample.:s)

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