Classroom Newsletter Tips & Examples
Newsletters are a teacher’s best friend when it comes to maintaining good communication with parents. I like to send mine home on Mondays to provide parents with information about the events of the upcoming week, things like spelling lists, test and quiz dates, special programs, lunch menus, field trips and more. I also use my newsletter to provide parents with an overview of what kind of lessons we covered the previous week so they can get a feel of what is going on and know better what kinds of questions to ask their children. Often the classic question, “What did you do in school today?” leads to the equally classic answer, “Nothing.” If you don’t want your parents thinking that’s true, I’d suggest putting together a newsletter also. Here are some tips on how to get started.
There are plenty of sites that offer templates for creating newsletters (check out the list below), but personally, I enjoy using a template from the newsletter section of Microsoft Publisher 2010. It’s easy to manipulate and always yields an attractive result that I can be proud of.
You may find that it takes a while the first few times you make the letter, but with practice the process will become quick and easy. I suggest starting with a one-page newsletter until you are in need of more. You can always add more pages.
Things to Include in Classroom Newsletters
In general, I’ve found that anything you regularly send home during the course of a week can become good newsletter content. Putting it all in one place instead of dispersing it through separate fliers makes it easier for parents to keep track of. It also helps ensure that it reaches them, since parents learn to expect it on a regular basis and tend to ask their children if they aren’t receiving it. Beyond that, here are some specifics of things to include.
- Birthday acknowledgements
- Field trip permission slips – I like to put mine right into the newsletter for parents to cut out and sign.
- Recognition for student accomplishments
- Requests for funds, materials or volunteers – This is a perfect place to explain your fundraisers.
- Vacation dates
- Lots of photos! There’s nothing parents love more than seeing pictures of their children.
Examples & Templates
- In addition to sending a hard copy home, I post our classroom newsletter on my school’s website. I have several international students, and this really helps them share what’s going on with their family members around the world. If you’d like to see any of our current or past newsletters, click here.
- WordDraw has a an entire collection of free newsletter templates for teachers.
- I love the colors on this newsletter by Katelin Elizabeth.
- This is another one that uses a lot of color blocks.
- Busy Teacher’s Cafe offers this cute newsletter template, with pre-defined areas for typing.
- Microsoft Office also has an extensive collection of free templates available for download. Even though they are not all geared toward teachers, you can easily modify the colors, photos and fonts to give them a more “schooly” look.
- Teachers Pay Teachers has both free and and moderately priced newsletter templates created by other teachers.
Of course, this is just scratching the surface. If there are other template websites you’ve found and like, please share them with me so I can add them to the list. I’d also be interested in seeing your newsletter and hearing how you use it.