Do you have a classroom newsletter? It’s a great way to communicate with parents and family members. You can use your newsletter to share news with families, highlight student accomplishments, and share ways that parents can help their children at home. Here are 5 simple ways to improve your classroom newsletter. If you don’t typically send a newsletter, this list will give you a great place to start creating!
1. Make your classroom newsletter visually appealing.
There are a lot of things to consider when creating your classroom newsletter. Remember that families are busy! They have a lot of things to keep up with. Also keep in mind that a lot of papers go home to families, and you don’t want yours to be overlooked. Here are some tips to make it visually appealing:
- Make your classroom newsletter short and to the point.
- Break up your text into paragraphs. If possible, use bullet points, too.
- Use simple wording and keep the sentences short.
- Use an easy-to-read font.
- Make important words stand out by using bold print.
- Print your newsletter in color, or print it on colored paper, so it stands out.
- Use white space. Too much text and images on a page can be overwhelming.
- Try to use a newsletter template with clearly-labeled sections. Parents will know where to look for information each week.
2. Give families a task.
If you give families a task to complete each week, they are more likely to read your classroom newsletter. Don’t make it a job – keep it fun and simple. There are lots of ways to do this.
Use your newsletter to share the content that you’re teaching. Newsletters are a wonderful place to include spelling words, vocabulary words, or topics that you are studying.
Share with families how they can support their children’s learning! You can include helpful websites or instructions on how to play a short game.
Remind parents to ask their children about what they learned this week or their favorite part about the week.
Include a topic of the week and ask families to discuss it one night at home.
You can also use your classroom newsletter to remind parents to send in items like a permission slip, a book order, or money for field trips.
Want feedback from your families? Create a Google form and share the link in your newsletter. Remember to keep it short, but leave an open-ended question if parents would like to share more in detail.
3. Highlight all students.
Nothing makes parents happier than seeing their children do something wonderful! Use your classroom newsletter to highlight students. You can choose one or two a week – just make sure that you include everyone!
An easy way to make sure that you highlight all students is to keep a checklist. Find a space in your planner or use a Google Doc. Write or type all of your students’ names, and then write the date that you highlight each student.
There are lots of ways to highlight students. Remember that every child is different, so look for special ways to celebrate each of them! You can write about a child who:
- has an athletic accomplishment
- participated in a community play or event
- won a ribbon in a local event
- showed a lot of growth in math or reading
- helped out a classmate
- did a good job as a group leader in the classroom
- always works hard in the classroom
Another thing to consider is to ask each child how they would like to be highlighted. They may have a special accomplishment they want to share with others. They may even like to help write the paragraph about themselves. This is a great way to connect with your students and build your classroom community, too.
4. Be consistent.
An easy way to make your classroom newsletter even better is to be consistent with it. This will make it easier for families to read, and they will know exactly when to expect it. You might send the newsletter weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Whatever you choose – just do it consistently.
Your newsletter should use the same clearly-labeled sections in each one. If you do this each time, parents will know exactly where to look for information. Some suggestions for sections include:
- a note from the teacher
- a reminders section
- upcoming events or dates to remember
- student of the week
- currently studying
- how to help at home
- contact information
If you have student folders that you send home, that’s a great place to put your newsletter. You can send it on Mondays to prepare families for the week, or you can send it on Fridays for them to read over the weekend. Whatever you decide, just keep it consistent.
Do you like to plan ahead? If so, you can always prepare your newsletters in advance. This is easy to do with the sections on what you are teaching and important dates. Then right before you send it out update the remaining sections for a time-saving option.
5. Include a calendar.
There’s one component of a classroom newsletter that you should never forget: a calendar. Everyone likes to know what is going on and most people like to plan.
You can add a “Dates to Remember” section to your classroom newsletter, or you can include an upcoming events section.
Another alternative is to create a monthly calendar. To save paper, you can run it on the back of your newsletter.
Include events on your calendar such as days off of school, early release days, holidays, and special events. If your school does fundraisers or special events, put those dates on the calendar as well. This is also a great place to add in deadlines like when permission slips are due. And . . . don’t forget special class events where parent volunteers are needed.
In this day and age, it is worth taking time to consider your options for how you will send your newsletter. Will you send a paper copy or a digital version? Is there a way to text a link to the newsletter directly to parents? In this digital age, these are all things you should consider.
What do I think is best? Well, that is an easy answer for me. I think the best option is the one that most parents will read! Over the years I’ve found that the best way to do that is to make it easy for parents. For some, this might be a paper newsletter in the folder and for others, this might be an email or text. Ask parents what they prefer or just provide each newsletter in a print and digital option.
Parent communication is important. It lets everyone know what’s going on and it builds and strengthens your classroom community. A classroom newsletter is an effective way to ensure communication.
Save it for Later
Be sure to pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board, so you’ll be able to get back to these 5 simple ways to improve your classroom newsletter!