Monday, August 04, 2014

Effective Parent Communication

No matter what grade level you teach, we all struggle with finding effective parent communication. Paper notes? Classroom blogs? Classroom facebook groups?

For me, parent communication is much more detailed than it may be for you. I have daily parent communication and I literally have to communicate every detail of their child's day. Well, that might be slightly exaggerated, but it certainly feels like that's how much I'm communicating. And that's okay. It's just the nature of my classroom.

My students cannot go home and tell their parents what they did at school that day. They are either non-verbal, or do not possess those communication skills yet. So by completing a daily sheet for each child I communicate the following to their families each day:

What they ate for breakfast, lunch, and snack.
What time they used the bathroom--did they go? Were they changed?
What related services did they have today?
What centers did they play at?--also, what toys are in that center for the week.
Did they complete a task schedule?
Did they play with any special earn/choice toys?
What about quiet time? Did they rest or sleep? How long did they sleep for?

It sure sounds like a lot, but the formatting I use actually makes it very quick to communicate all of this information.


I simply highlight what they ate (I've pre-filled in the choices based on the lunch calendar), highlight where they played (I've pre-filled in the toy options at centers), I highlight their feelings, highlight if they slept or not, and fill in the bathroom times. Pretty quick and easy. 

I also give parents the option for a daily notebook too. Some parents want this and some don't. I won't continue this communication option if the parents stop writing back. This does take a little bit of extra time, but I typically have a moment during quiet time where I can respond to questions and share anything important about the child's day. For this, we just use a composition notebook to write back and forth to each other. When the book fills up, I keep it in their file and we start a new one.

 

In order to help conserve paper, I prepare my daily sheets for the entire week and print them front and back. This goes from 4 pages to 2 pages. I then staple it and the children get their pack on Monday. Parents are expected to return it in their folder the next day. Surprisingly I haven't had much issue with this. Every once in a while a child may forget their paper. If I have an extra on hand I'll use it for that day. If not, I don't sweat it. They usually have it the next day. 

If you think these sheets would work for you in your classroom, I've made a version that you can edit. You simply edit the text boxes to include the information you would need, as seen in the photo below. NOTHING else about it is editable. You can just add your text. You can't change the other text, or move the boxes around. I don't mean to be rude, harsh, or blunt, I just want to make it crystal clear as to what parts of this are editable. I know this won't work for everyone, and that's okay. 


I hope that some of you can use this! I've listed it in my TpT store for $1.50. 

 
{click here} to go to my store to check it out! 
And don't forget! My TpT store is still on sale through the rest of tonight and tomorrow! (August 4th & 5th) Use code BTS14 to get an extra 10% off!

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