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  #1  
Old 07-29-2009, 04:34 PM
lucylucy lucylucy is offline
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2nd Grade Teacher
Daily Communication with Parents?

Hi, next year will be my first year in a self-contained room (moving from resource). I am curious as to how and how often self contained teacher communicate with parents regarding daily behavior/concerns, etc... I know that some teachers use home/school notebooks and write a brief summary in them daily but that may get real time consuming with 18 kids... Any thoughts or ideas out there?
Thanks!!
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  #2  
Old 07-29-2009, 04:40 PM
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ms. yi ms. yi is offline
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Florida
1st Grade Teacher
We use agendas. Students only get notes when they misbehave if not, they get a stamp. I also keep a website and forums and communicate weekly just about upcoming events and stuff.
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  #3  
Old 07-29-2009, 04:48 PM
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TeacherNY TeacherNY is offline
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NY of course!
Special Education Teacher
Some parents want daily communication. It gets too much. They don't understand all the paperwork we have to do. I ended up e-mailing parents about once a week just to let them know how things were going unless there was an immediate concern. If I had to let them know about something I wrote in a notebook they kept in their bookbag
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  #4  
Old 07-29-2009, 06:36 PM
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teachersk teachersk is offline
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You'll have 18 kids in a self-contained class?!
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  #5  
Old 07-29-2009, 06:42 PM
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teachersk teachersk is offline
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Special Education Teacher
It takes me nearly a half hour to write in our communication notebooks each afternoon. The parents get the following information each night:

-which assistant worked with their child
-bathroom (how many times, independent requests, accidents, etc)
-current iep goals/programs and the data that was obtained that day
-positive behaviors
-negative behaviors
-what they ate for lunch
-what activities we did (swimming, ot, pt, gym, music, cooking, trip, etc).
-any other important info


It's nuts how long it takes me to do that. And half the parents dont sign the sheets anyway!!

I've always wanted to find (or come up with) an online system of communication with parents. All service providers could enter their notes for the day (right after kids leave so it doesn't take instruction time away) and the teacher could put progress updates, etc. This online system would give a chance for parents to write back on the system and everything would be secure and documented. This way, administrators could look if they needed to. Parents and teachers could use a search feature to refer back to previous conversations/notes, etc.

Outside service providers (out of school) could be given access if permission was given, so everyone could stay in the loop for all therapies.

I'll let you know when I come out with it.
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  #6  
Old 07-29-2009, 10:47 PM
lucylucy lucylucy is offline
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2nd Grade Teacher
yes, the online system does sound fantastic!! The 18 was a typo, I will have 16 students with three para professionals. The problem is that while email would work best, none of my parents have internet access. They all want updates daily but I just can't figure out the logistics (especially when several of them need translated into Spanish). Ideally I would like to come up with some sort of template where I can check certain boxes and write briefly to elaborate if needed. (this would help with the translation piece as well, I could just check the appropriate box) I just don't see that happening. Coming up with a form that relays all the info that I want it to is unlikely. Thanks for all feedback!
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  #7  
Old 07-30-2009, 12:01 AM
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Emily Bronte Emily Bronte is offline
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Midwest
Special Education Teacher
16 is still a lot in a self-contained class. I teach grades 10-12 students with autism. This year I will have 9 students. Keep in mind, that this is a federal setting 4. I have taught younger kids as well. Daily communication is too much. Unless there is a serious problem, I communcate weekly.
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  #8  
Old 07-31-2009, 12:38 AM
teach4joy teach4joy is offline
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California
I agree... daily communication is too much. I started working in a self contained class in Jan and tried to do it everyday, it stressed me out soo much because it took a long time, and some parents wouldn't sign it. (and I only had 8 students). I still do communication books now but I only do it about once a week per each child. I also do a monthly newsletter with important dates and an outline of the theme of the month and activities to go with it. As far as charting, I send home potty charts at the end of the week, goal work is collected at the end of the month and sent home, and I do occasional phone calls now.

The most important thing is remember to communicate the good things the child has done and not just the bad things that happened.
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  #9  
Old 07-31-2009, 11:44 AM
YesICan YesICan is offline
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California
Special Education Teacher
Hi everyone,
This discussion forum is fantasic. This is the first time I've even seen one for special ed teachers.
I've been teaching in a mild/moderate (i.e., mostly learning disabilities) self-contained classrroom of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders for four years now, and my weekly letters to parents last year became more like "seasonal" letters, much less daily notes for each student! And I only had six kids.!
I'm really impressed with how much you communicated with the parents. I like the idea of a check off sheet, with space for comments if needed. I've seen teachers use a number system to rate the child's behavior for the day, and then they add comments for either a 1 (fantastic behavior) or a 4 (sent to office). I think I could handle something like that on a daily basis, and then a class newsletter once a month.
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  #10  
Old 08-03-2009, 02:47 PM
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ITeachSATX ITeachSATX is offline
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Texas
Mod/Severe Spec Ed - HS
What I include on daily comm report

I created a template that went home each day in the student's backpack that the classroom staff fills out as the day goes on. We had 9 students and these sheets were clipped just above their visual schedule. During each passing period (once an hour) they were filled in with things that went well/things that didn't go well (helped with laundry, used kind words all day, sorted by color, etc OR biting tantrum just after lunch, hard time staying on task during lang. arts, threw away fruit cup in lunch after 1 bite) and any pottying notes needed. The bottom had a comments section where I would often staple field trip/Special Olympics notices or write a reminder to send more diapers/wipes/lunch $. The bottom asked parents to return it the next day with any suggestions for improvement or comments/questions on the reverse. I would get things back from parents such as - sorry she was so sleepy we had a late night at church, will be absent Fri. for Dr. appt, we feed him dessert first and the meat last at home, etc. Of course I had one or two parents that didn't return them but for the most part they all came back and I figured I had done my due diligence on our district required daily communication.
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