Let me just say this… individualized newsletters are awesome! For the longest time I would have parents call me with questions that were answered in my monthly newsletter. It got me thinking: What can I do to get students to get the newsletters to their parents, and how can I get parents to read them?
How I ended up using individualized newsletters
Two years ago I decided that the problem was the format of the newsletter. I handed it straight to students and expected them to find it important enough to keep safe until it ended up in the hands of an adult at home. It was really my fault that it wasn’t getting home – the kids had no buy-in to this newsletter whatsoever.
I began sending home newsletters that were a mix of classroom events and student additions. Over the last couple of years I’ve included some of the following items to involve the students in the newsletter:
- Having students write an update about themselves
- Decorating or coloring the calendar
- A space for students to draw a comic about something they learned recently
- Having students list recent accomplishments or goals
- Printing small pictures of classroom activities for students to glue into their newsletter
- Making the calendar items “fill in the blank”
How I use newsletters today
After refining the newsletters, I came up with a great template for these individualized newsletters. The front includes an area where the student can write in an update on themselves.
Now I send out newsletters weekly. Every Friday students fill in their newsletter and take it home! They love it!
Next, the back side of my newsletter I put spelling and/or vocab words and our class goals. Students write their own goals, which we practice doing together the first couple months of school. When I meet 1-on-1 with students we also talk about what goals they’re working on.
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Lastly, I printed a b&w version, then we colored it during reward time we had on Friday for excellent class behavior.
These newsletters are so much fun, and so personal! Don’t have time to make your own? Check out my editable newsletter templates here. There are themes for every month of the year, but you can also customize it to use weekly or bi-weekly! Edit the subheadings to make your own sections and type in your name, calendar dates, and goals.