You've taken mental notes, and even used your favorite colored sharpie to jot down a reminder on a post-it note - left right where you can see it. "Write a note to Billy's parents".
Before you know it, the kids are getting packed up, ready to go home, you are rushing around making sure the little girl who's transportation has changed (again) gets to the right place, and out walks Billy...with no note. Another day goes by that you feel you should have addressed a concern. There is never enough time!
Year after year, I did the exact same thing. Unfortunately, in the district I worked at, I couldn't simply pick up the phone and call, because many students had non-working telephone numbers. Communication was difficult, and needed to be planned in advance.
Finally, I created a general PARENT LETTER for each of the most common skills I found needed addressed. Wow...why did I wait so long? After using them a couple times in my room, my coworkers began using them, and they became an instant hit. Wanting to make sure they stood out from the other take-home flyers, I created a bright yellow polka-dot border, with simple design elements. I don't know about you, but if something is looks appealing, I'm much more likely to read over it.
Parents sometimes forget the expectations that you went over at open house, or simply don't have time to read the Common Core grade level standards. And although you put them in your weekly newsletter, they are often overlooked.
We can't give up! The parents need to know what their children are expected to accomplish. These letters:
- State the expected standard
- Express concern based on observations and completed work
- Give suggestions and resources for the parents to help their child at home.
I've even created parent letters for our traveling class books, math, classroom snacks, requesting a family photo to hang in the classroom, and asking volunteers to come in and be a Birthday Reader to the class.
What a HUGE time save these have been! Simply print, keep several copies in a file folder at your desk. When you see the need to address one of the skills, just pull one out, write the students name, date it, and put it in their folder. Which one would work best for you?
Here are just some of the reviews:
- "Thanks! I was going to create one myself but yours is so much cuter. Can't wait to use it this year and see what photos I get :)" (The Teacher Time Capsule)
- "I have been needing a cuter version of this note and now I have one!" (Jessica C.)
- "Saving me lots of precious time!" (Brigette M.)
- "Thank you for sharing this wonderful letter! It was well written and very professional with a darling friendly look!" (Mrs Oakes Kindergarten with Heart)
- "Very helpful at conference time!" (Jerilynne J.)
- "Yay, for parent resources! This area is always hard to address- happy to have a "go-to" for giving to parents and for interventions." (Rachel C.)