We do a monthly letter. On one side is the month's calendar with important dates listed and other reminders for parents. On the other side it tells, "What will my child be learning this month?" We list each subject and what will be taught along with some tid-bits of how the parents can help at home. This has worked really well for us as a grade level. If an individual teacher has something special, they can attach to the letter, or send home whenever needed.
Still want to do a weekly newsletter? Get with a partner or your whole team and take turns writing it each week. Leave a small space that each teacher can write individual notes.
Other options...consider using social media. This (along with the monthly calendar format) is what I plan to do. Previously, we had class websites (as I'm sure all of you do also). This summer, our district switched over to google mail and did away with all our websites. We were told it is up to us what to use this year. I have been looking all summer trying to decide which was the best way to go.
Another teacher friend and I have discussed in length. We would LOVE to have a private Facebook page, but alas, it is blocked at school. Just THINK of the possibilities...Need something for your classroom within the next hour, just post it on your FB page, send info & pictures to parents instanteously for them to view what their child is doing, etc. The possibilities are endless! Probably, every parent out there has a FB account and most have phones to keep in constant touch.
However, since that is not an option for me, I have decided to go with a blog. I worked almost all day on it yesterday setting it up. (Yes, I KNOW there are lots of ready-made free blog templates out there, but it's just my personality. I LOVE challenging myself and learning new things!) I would love if you popped over and take a looksie at it. I'm still working on it, but would love ideas from those of you who have used a classroom blog. I would REALLY like for my students to be able to blog also.
I'm also involve in TWO huge giveaways. While you're out
blog stalking blog hopping today, be sure to stop by and enter if you haven't already. Maybe you'll be the lucky winner!
Brian over at Hopkin's Hoppin' Happenings is celebrating 100,000 views on his blog. Hurry over, his giveaway ends tonight.
Casey over at Second Grade Math Maniac is also having a huge giveaway. Hers starts today.
So, please, please, PLEASE leave your comments, thoughts and ideas on this one. How do you make communication Smarter, not Harder? What else do I need to add on a classroom blog? Is there anyway to keep it private for JUST parents? I really need your help on this one. Help ME be Smarter!