Management & Organization

5 Ways to Keep Parents Informed

Have you ever had a parent teacher meeting and the parents acted surprised when you told them how their child was doing?  That happened to me my first year teaching because I simply did not keep parents informed.  Parent(s) and teacher communication is essential.  As teachers, we sometimes feel as though the kids are “our kids”, but they also have a set of parents at home that see a side of the students that us teachers don’t see.  Parents and teachers are a team and when we work together, we are better able to serve “our kids'” needs.  Since that experience many years ago, I have implemented different approaches to ensure that my students’ parents and I are always on the same page and connected.

 

#1 Send Home a Weekly Progress Report

Keep parents in the loop about their child's progress in your class! Every parent's dream.

Every Friday I fill out this form and send it home with the students.  On Monday, the students return the form after it has been signed by a parent.  I file the form away in a file folder.  During parent/teacher conference or report card time, I pull out the forms for each individual student and use it as reference/data.  If parents are unsure of something, I can refer back to when they were informed of specific behaviors or areas of improvement/strengths.

If for any reason, the students are not bringing back the signed report, I call the parents.  Sometimes parents may not understand that they need to return the report or in some cases, the students don’t give them to the parents.  I don’t wait  until conference time to say “I never received signed progress reports from you.”

#2 Parent Teacher Meeting Form

All meetings with parents and teachers should be documented for follow up and future reference

I believe it is very important to keep track of all meetings that we have with parents.  Not only for documentation purposes, but also so that we may develop plans for the students and put them into place.  Each meeting should have follow up plans and sometimes may require “next meeting date.”  I pre-fill my sections of the form, and fill in parent concerns and outcomes during the meeting. Asking parents about their concerns and what they see at home may sometimes shed light on some situations.  Once meeting is over, I make a copy of the paper and give the parent(s) a copy for their records.

#3 Dibels Data Sheet

Help parents know and understand what Dibels is and what the numbers mean.

Every time I test my students on Dibels, I send home a paper letting the parents know their child’s score as well as what the score means.  When parents are aware of how their child is testing on their reading, it gives the parent/teacher team an opportunity to devise a plan for home and school.  Sometimes students don’t have access to books at home and this gives me an opportunity to communicate with the parent(s) and figure out ways to help them in that area as well as suggest strategies to implement at home.

#4 Test Scores

As humans, we have a tendency to sometimes focus more on the negative rather than the positive.  I leaned early on to never disregard the positive things I see in my kiddos.  I have some kids who are not very good test takers and some who rock the socks off of tests.  I like to send these forms home when my students rock a test.  Some days I may send this form home for someone who got a 60.  A 60 may not be extraordinary, but it’s a big deal for that one student who is always getting a 10.  I want the parents to celebrate improvement and I want my kiddos to know that their effort do not go unrecognized.

5. Daily Reports

Don't just tell parents about the negative choices; inform the of the amazing work their child has done too!

Do not let the word “daily” scare you.  I do NOT send these home daily; however, I do make a point to send them as often as possible.  In keeping with the positive outlook, I like to send home little notes that let the parents know when their child has had an amazing day.  I print out the amazing choices paper on green Astrobright and the “not such a good day” paper on orange Astrobright.  Although I send home the weekly progress report, some behaviors (negative or positive) simply can’t wait until Friday to be reported.  Friday rolls around and I may have forgotten how amazing Little Johnny was on Monday.

What do you do to keep parents connected and informed?

 

All the forms on this blog post are found in my TPT store.  Click the picture to be taken directly to this resource.

This pack also includes

Parent Communication Tracker (2 versions)
Student Data Tracker
Parent Teacher Conference Schedule
Dibels Recording Sheet for Benchmark and Progress Monitoring
After School Support Permission Slip
Before School Support Permission Slip
Open House Invitations 
Parent/Teacher Student Progress Report
Reading Log

Happy Communicating,

 

 

 

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