Effective communication between teachers and parents is one of the greatest factors of student success. The more teachers communicate with parents, the more parents will understand about the classroom, procedures, and their child’s progress in class. While we all know that teacher/parent communication is important, it can often be difficult to put systems into place that are not time-consuming or overwhelming to the teacher. With grading, lesson planning and a personal life (yes, teachers have those too!), parent communication tends to be the first thing that falls to the side. But…what if there was an easy and quick way to update parents about classroom assignments, activities and progress?
In this two-part series, I will share two ways that I have created a newsletter to share with parents on a weekly basis. Last week, I shared how you can create a weekly newsletter using Google Forms and MailChimp. This week, I will share how you can create a weekly newsletter using Google Docs and Remind. Excited? Let’s get started!
Below you will find the step-by-step directions, including GIF’s, of the process for creating a newsletter. At the bottom of this section, you will also find a video that will walk you through the entire process.
Step #1: Create your Newsletter in Google Slides
Google Slides is possibly my favorite Google application. It is so versatile and can be used for more than just a presentation tool. By putting your newsletter in Slides, you can keep a running record of the information that you have shared with parents, as well as simply duplicate the slide to be used in future newsletters. Here is an example:
Click HERE to make a copy of this newsletter to use in your classroom!
Step #2: Download the Newsletter into a JPEG
Now that we have created a newsletter, we need to put it into an easily shareable version for students and parents. While you could share the link with the parents, I have found that sharing an image of the newsletter is the most accessible version. Not all parents are familiar with Google Apps and might find a Slide Deck to be confusing or overwhelming.
To download the newsletter as a JPEG, you will need to:
- Go to “File”
- Select “Download As”
- Select “JPEG image (.jpg, current slide)”
This will download the current slide and save it into your “Downloads” folder.
Step #3: Create a Class in Remind
Once you have created your Remind account, you will need to create a class for your students and parents.
To create a class in Remind, you will need to:
- Select “Create a class” on the left side of the dashboard
- Name your class
- Create a class code
Step #4: Add Parents to Remind
There are four ways in which you can add parents to the class:
- Phone or Email Contacts – Add parents by manually adding their name and phone number.
- Printable PDF’s – Print and share directions to add the class.
- In-Person Instructions – Share the instructions in-person for parents to add via their phone.
- Share a Link – Share a link so they can join the class instantly.
Step #5: Send Your Newsletter
To send your newsletter, you will need to:
- Go to the “Messages” tab
- Write your message
- Attach the image
- Click “send”
Finally, if you want to see the entire process (from start to finish), I’ve also created a video of this process. You can watch it below!
As always, I love to hear from those of you that are reading this blog post! How do you communicate with parents during the school year? Share below!