Sunday, October 30, 2011

Giving Parents a "View" Into the Classroom

I decided this weekend to update the template I use for my monthly parent newsletter for the classroom.  While I was doing this, I began thinking about the various ways we, as teachers, help parents understand what the children are doing all day at preschool! 

It has always been a bit tricky to show the parents what the children do daily in my classroom.  Some of the kids in my classroom can be VERY aware of routines and insistent on things staying exactly the same each and every day!  Often this also seems to dictate WHERE people should be! (mom should be at home, Miss Pam should be at school, grandpa belongs at his house etc.)  This can make visits from family members to the classroom tricky as meltdowns are likely to occur!

One of the quick and easy ways I have found to give parents a peek inside the classroom without a parent necessarily needing to BE there, is to add some various anecdotes to our monthly newsletter!  Below is the "News from Around the Classroom" section of our November newsletter to the families in my classroom.  As you can see, it is less about correct sentence structure, and more about keeping the flow of the "snapshot of the classroom" going!  (at least that's what I tell myself :)

News from Around the Classroom!
Last month we enjoyed exploring our apple
pie spice playdough.  Daniela was seen using
rolling pins, cookie cutters and pizza
cutters to make various pretend items with
this playdough!  (This month we will be exploring
pumpkin pie spice playdough- another wonderful
smelling sensory item!)  Christian has been getting
used to our classroom and has enjoyed using just
about any one of our musical instruments, cars,
Duplos or trucks in October!  -While Trevon
continues to enjoy painting with orange and yellow
paint just about every day!  A'ziah has been seen
driving many toy cars down the car ramps and has
enjoyed learning to swing on the big kids swings
while outside!  Colin has been obsessed with listening
to the story "The Spooky Wheels on the Bus".  And
Kayleigha has been thrilled to join us for our outdoor
time and has been enjoying riding bikes and driving
the car!  Ryan has enjoyed Going on many
Bear Hunts with us!  And Jeremiah and Dalton
especially enjoyed our painting with natural autumn
items (leaves, sticks etc.)

I simply mention one or two things that the child has particularly enjoyed during the previous month!  Generally, I focus on items the children have enjoyed doing during center work or outside.  It is a quick and fun way to individualize our newsletter!  Now, of course, adding photos would be even nicer, but our newsletter is short and to the point, so just the quick mention of each child and his or her favorite activity is enough! 

There are so many ways to give parents a view into the classroom (school websites, daily notes home, documentation panels, assessments using collected work and/or photos)!  This is simply one very quick and easy way to provide a bit of that "view" into the classroom!


  1. Pam,
    I think this is a very good way to provide a look into your classroom for parents!
    It is short, very descriptive - to the point. And I think it it gives a clear idea of the individuality of each child.

    I found it interesting, and it just sounds like so many great things go on in your classroom.I think your parents would love this, and it is such a nice way to communicate with them.

  2. Thats a great idea! I bet the parents enjoy reading it!


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