Weekly newsletter

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Taliesin, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Taliesin

    Taliesin Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2008

    For those who do a weekly newsletter- would you mind sharing what you include on it and/or a sample of what they look like?
     
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  3. Taliesin

    Taliesin Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2008

    Last year I did a daily newsletter but it just got to be too much. In the fall I am looking to switch to a weekly newsletter but I'm not sure yet how I want to structure it. I am hoping to include: current theme, birthdays, upcoming events, favorite activities, etc.
     
  4. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Jun 25, 2008

    I used Microsoft Publisher to create a template with 5 boxes on it. It goes home every Friday. I always use the biggest box to briefly describe what we have done during the week. The other 4 boxes change every week. I put things like when Scholastic orders are due, days coming up that school will be closed, requests for baby wipes, thank yous to volunteers, reminders to wear sneakers or sunscreen, basically anything that all the parents are going to need to know. It is great for me. There are times that Thursday rolls around adn I don't have much to say and I dread writing it, but for the most part it is very handy for me and it gets great feedback from the parents.
     
  5. tgi1515

    tgi1515 Comrade

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    Jun 25, 2008

    The first year, I had to "suck it up" and spend a little time writing a newsletter every week. Year 2 and year 3 all I did was pull up the previous year's letter and "tweak" it to fit what we were doing. Although I change some of our classroom activities, I still do basic things the same each year. (every time we study letter D, we make donuts and I ask for volunteers the week before.) Right before fall break, we take a field trip to the zoo. I send out the same basic info on times, what to wear, sack lunches, etc.

    Here is an example of how I start mine off. (We were studying dinosaurs and going on a field trip to a park that has a giant sand box with "dinosaur bones" cemented in the bottom.) I use clipart that I find in Word. I reduce it and put it at the front of each important item like bullet. If we're studying a letter I put a sign language clip art at the top of the page. I also go to freetranslation.com to translate my letter into Spanish (wish it did Asian languages), then paste it on additional pages. I plan to someday have a website that parents can go to, but I usually only have one or two students with a working PC at home right now..... So, I copy my letter front and back on colored paper that is on the school supply list for each kid and send it in their Thursday folder.

    Ok here is one example:

    Dear Parents, (BIG PICTURE)

    Please check your child’s take-home folder on Thursday. There will be important information that you need to know. Please keep the information, sign the folder and send it back on Friday.

    Important Things Coming Up!
    (little picture) Field Trip NEXT WEEK! We will go on a Field Trip, Friday, April 27th. We will be studying dinosaurs and will go to the Yukon Park to practice our paleontologist (dinosaur scientists) skills. If you can be a sponsor that day, please fill out the attached sheet to let me know as soon as possible.
    • Each student will need a sack lunch and a drink (not glass) that day.
    • Please put sun screen on your child before they leave for school. Sun burns are miserable and preventable! Send a hat if they can keep up with it.
    • They should also wear athletic shoes (NO FLIP FLOPS!) so they can play on the playground.

    (little picture) NO SCHOOL, FRIDAY, May 4, 2007!! - Parent Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Thursday night and Friday morning May 3rd and 4th !

    (little picture) Behavior. Please look for a smiley face sticker on your child after school. If there is no sticker, please ask them why. I will be giving a sticker at the end of each day for students who are making good choices.

    (little picture) Book Orders are due TOMORROW. Please plan to buy your child at least one 95¢ book. They need to repeat reading it over and over with you to build skills for reading.

    (little picture) We are continuting Pizza Hut “Book It” until April 30th . READ TO YOUR CHILD EVERY NIGHT!! I will start letting them borrow more books, if they want to. Please take care of them and send them back. Your child can earn a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut in April if you read to them. If .....(there's info about Book It)

    (little picture) End of the Year Tests - I will begin testing next week and end the following week. Practice the following things:

    -Math: Your child should be able to recognize numbers 0-5, make sets of 0-5, look at sets and tell how many there are. They should be able to have one-to-one correspondence (count each object as one)

    -Phonics/Letters: Your child should be able to recognize all the upper case and lower case letters of the alphabet (out of order) and the sounds that go with each letter.

    -READ to your child everyday for 15 – 20 minutes. You should do this every day until they are in the 2nd or 3rd grade. It WILL make a difference in their school work.

    (little picture) Blankets. Please send a blanket to school for your child on the first day of every week. We had several forget again today. The air conditioner is on now and your child may get cold without a blanket.

    (little picture) PICTURES!! I have a couple of requests for copies of all the pictures I have taken of our Pre-Kindergarteners this year. If you would like copies, you will need to go to Wal-Mart or an Office Supply store and buy a blank read/write CD (CD-R) and send it to school so I can copy the pictures for you. I will need these in mid-May. So far I have over 300 pictures this year!!

    (little picture) Our Wish List - THANK YOU to the parents who helped by giving things to our class! I am so lucky to have parents who are willing to help out. We will be doing lots of special activities from now until the end of the year.

    I need the following items if you can help:
    • Ziplock sandwich bags
    • Bug Houses (plastic containers/jars)
    • Skittles

    I appreciate your help. Thank you!!!!
    Please feel free to call me at school if you have any questions or comments. You have the greatest kids!

    Sincerely,


    I've seen weekly letters that are not as wordy but I liked reading the longer letters that my own children brought home. My boys rarely told me anything and I liked knowing what they were doing at school.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Jun 26, 2008

    You can see a sample of my weekly newsletter on my BEAR book page. Just click on the link and it will open in PDF format for you. My best advice is to break your newsletter into small "bite-sized" pieces of info so it's easier for the parents to read and digest. I have found that long, form type letters don't get read. I find that parents have very limited amounts of time these days to read these things and the shorter and sweeter they are the more they get read.

    As another poster pointed out, the first year is tough, but after that you can just open last year's newsletter and tweak it to fit this year. I have been doing a weekly newletter for 12 years now and trust me, bite-sized is definitely the way to go.

    I also use clip-art in my newsletter, it helps catch the parent's eye and draws their attention- cues them in to what I'm trying to say. It also helps me with our ELL population, which is 80-90%.

    Now delivery is whole other thread- you need an established routine, papers that get stuffed into backpacks or sent home in hand don't get read either, that's why I use the BEAR book method and train my parents from day one to check the b.book every night.

    hth
     
  7. Bean728

    Bean728 Rookie

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    Jul 1, 2008

    I just include what we are studying for the week, a list of books we will be reading, a list of songs and fingerplays we will learn and any birthdays or field trips coming up!
     
  8. TeachnRox

    TeachnRox Companion

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    Jul 1, 2008

    Newsletter

    I have a weekly newsletter (send home paper copy on Monday, previous school year did only electronic version via email...save the trees!) , which contains these categories every week. They are just bitesized blips of what is going on:

    Dear Parents - letter going over previous week, fun things to come, special papers sent home and need to be returned and extra need to know info

    Spelling: spelling words with spelling pattern, along with test date

    Reading: Story of the week, special words, and comprehension test date

    Math: short sentence with math skill we are working on

    Specials Schedule: self explanatory

    Helping Your Child Learn to Read- 1 tip a week for 17 weeks, when I am done with those tips then I put in ABC's to School Success from www.educationworld.com

    Coming Soon: special dates to remember

    Here are different categories that I use when needed:
    FAQ: questions parents have asked me with answer
    Behavior Bulletin: something we are working on and need extra reinforcement at home
    Website of the Week: good/helpful website I have found for skill we are learning
    Wanted: items/helper needed for classroom activities

    I insert colorful clipart, to make it eye appealing :cool:

    HTH :)
     
  9. KarenPreK

    KarenPreK Companion

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    Jul 1, 2008

    I do a weekly email newsletter. I have these sections:
    Reminders
    Topics of Study (I just list "Trees", "Rhyming", "Shapes", etc)
    Helpful Links
    Books We Read
    Music & Fingerplays
    Our Activities

    The main part of the newsletter is "Our Activities" because I want the parents to see what their children have done in class, since they don't take much home (our activities are hands-on). I take a photo of each activity we do during the week, and I insert a photo for each activity, then just include a simple sentence about the photo. I explain the purpose of the activity (e.g. "This activity helps children build fine motor skills.") I think the photos make a huge difference, because parents don't have time to sit and read a lot, and when someone's eyes are scanning over a document, they will be drawn to the photos. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

    I've gotten great responses from parents since I started doing newsletters this way.
     
  10. Prekfreak

    Prekfreak Rookie

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    Jul 1, 2008

    The first year as others have said are the worst but well worth the time and effort. I made a cute title and do lots of clip art or even pics from class. I have 5 sections: Look what we did, Sneak Peek (for the upcoming week) Info 4 You (importatn highlights) A Note from Me (I discuss items about broad discipline, importance on parenting skills, PASS skills, and other random thoughts. The 5 comes and goes on if we have something really important / wish list items.
    good luck!

    I will tell you at times I will randomly put a small contest like the kids that bring in a certain item will get a prize/McD's toy/etc to see if the parents are reading the newsletter and then make a big deal to kids about parents reading it later. I only do this when it seems like I am not getting much response from parents, which is about 1 maybe 2 a year.
     
  11. Edu Katy

    Edu Katy Rookie

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    Jul 1, 2008

    I try to include information about what we are studying this week with specific questions for the parents to ask children. I usually have a picture or two and a list of important dates for parents to write on calendar.
     
  12. Hannah's Place

    Hannah's Place Rookie

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    Jul 2, 2008

    I do daily notes for each child and then only a monthly newsletter. I find most parents read it and forget it anyway. I don't have the time for weekly newsletters. I just type it up myself and use clipart. Nothing fancy. I include reminders for days off, special events coming up, birthday shout outs, what we will be working on that month, etc. The ususal.
    Now, if I had the time I'd love to get more into it, and maybe when I'm not a home based center I'll be able to (haha) but that is what works for us now.
     
  13. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jul 2, 2008

    We have a newsletter for the week and month like everyone is saying. However, the daily news I complied in a scrap book of sorts that is on going. This also doubles as our "documentation" of what we are studing as we are a child lead program. The child lead aspect changed our lesson planning a bit.

    we make up the scrapbook page a nap, although I have seen programs that use the children as the writters. Thank goodness for the digital camera. We shoot pixs during the day and include quotes from our State Early Learning Benchmarks in the captions. For instance,

    "building our refrigerator box castle helped us work on our large motor (painting), artistic representations (painting), dramatic play and social skills." then we have shots of the kids in motion.

    my parents love to share that with the children and each other, the newsletters often get over looked-here.
     

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