Home to School Communication: Keeping Everyone in the Loop

I've linked up with Mrs. Olson's Lucky Little Learners and Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd for their monthly link up #2GETHERWEAREBETTER! Check out many more communication ideas at the links above. I hope you have a great takeaway and find something that you want to implement!

Parent communication, for me, is something that starts off really strong each year and then it gets harder and harder for me to maintain throughout the year, especially if I'm trying something new! Case in point. As I looked through old text messages, I realized the last time I sent a Remind text was in November {ugh}.  Now I really enjoyed sending these text reminders, but I had a hard time getting parents to sign up. {Parents/families have to enroll in the program to receive texts from me}. I found that after winter break, I didn't resume sending them because I only had 6 parents that were receiving them. For next year, I plan on starting it day one. I'm thinking a little business card to pass out as parents drop students off the first day, with important contact information, email, phone and Remind sign-up :-)  For more information on this tool, check out the REMIND website!

Two things that I DO maintain and have for several years, is a weekly newsletter {paper based} and a monthly homework calendar. My newsletter consists of the basics: what are we learning, a home-to-school connection piece with important announcements, and a section for upcoming dates/assemblies/field trips, etc. On the back of the newsletter is a break down of our reading series. That includes spelling words, high-frequency words and our reading comprehension skills and strategies. Oh, and I print them out on colored paper for extra fun!

The monthly homework calendar is something that my first grade team started a few years ago. The calendar breaks down all of the monthly homework into 4 columns; words to know, math, spelling, and vocabulary. It's a nice little EXCEL document that gives a monthly overview for me and parents. We align the calendar with our curriculum pacing calendar. To set up my homework folders, I use folders with the 3-prongs. I try to find the perfect, thickest, heaviest, I hope it will last all year long folders! At the front of the folder is a pencil pouch.
This is where students can store their necessary homework tools for the year. My parents have RAVED about these pouches! Behind the pouch is the homework calendar and then the homework for the rest of the MONTH! I know, I send home an entire month's homework at a time and it has been fabulous! On my end, I don't have to re-stuff homework folders every weekend and I only have to fight with the copier once a month for homework related materials. On the parents end, they have been excited to have all the materials they need to complete homework and they enjoy looking ahead to see what is coming in the curriculum. I also include a monthly calendar for all upcoming dates.

So to answer the question, I would say that the homework folder (aka my CAMP folder: Collecting And Managing Paperwork) is my most successful tool. It is definitely one that takes a great deal of time to get set up and then to prepare every month, but it feels well worth the time for me, my students and my parents.

Until again, I wish you well!

1 comment :

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and for linking up with us, too!!

    Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd