Take-home folders are a very important communication tool in kindergarten. Not only do they keep families up-to-date on what’s happening at school, but they also help students build responsible habits. The question that many teachers wonder about is whether kindergarten communication folders and student work should be sent home daily or weekly. Daily take-home folders are definitely the way to go. Collecting papers and sending them home all at once is not a good idea. Keep reading to see why!
Benefits of Weekly Communication Folders
While I don’t recommend sending home all papers once a week, I can definitely see some benefits of doing so! First, it gives you plenty of time to collect the folders. When take-home folders only go home once a week, it gives families time to send them back before they need to be used again. This means you’re more likely to have all folders in hand when they’re ready for the next batch of papers. However, this also means that families aren’t getting in the habit of sticking to a routine.
Weekly communication folders are also helpful if you have some (but not a lot of) help in your classroom. If you don’t feel like you have the bandwidth to send home folders every day, but you have a Friday volunteer, it might feel easier to switch to weekly take-home folders.
Unfortunately, this is where I feel like the benefits of weekly communication folders end. While it might save time to only send papers home once a week, there are many more benefits of switching to a daily folder routine.
Benefits of Daily Kindergarten Communication Folders
1. Fewer Papers to Sort Through
When students take home their completed work each day, there are fewer papers for parents to sort through when the folder gets home. This makes it more likely that parents will take the time to look over their child’s work and read important documents.
Plus, the day of choice for weekly communication folders is usually Friday. As a teacher, do you love having important staff meetings Friday afternoons or are you checked out for the weekend? When the communication folder only comes home on Fridays, there is a high probability that parents will only give the folder a quick glance at best.
2. Better for Co-Parents
Many students spend time between homes during the school week. When the folder only goes home on Friday, it might keep one parent from seeing important information from the school. By using a daily communication folder, both households will be able to check the folder and stay in the loop more easily.
If you use my organization method for take-home folders, you’ll have the monthly calendar and other important information attached to the folder. This ensures that all parents will be able to see upcoming events and helpful tips for working on skills at home, regardless of which days of the week their child stays with them.
3. Timely Feedback for Behavior
One of the most important aspects of behavior management is timely feedback, whether you’re encouraging positive behavior or correcting challenging behavior. A glow note or grow note will be more effective for the student when parents see it on the same day. Plus, it's less likely to be lose in a stack of papers.
4. Encourage Discussions about School
It can be difficult for young learners to remember what they did at school. By the time they have gone through a full day of learning, they are ready to think about something else! However, it’s important for families to get into the routine of discussing the school day. This keeps parents connected to what's going on and it can encourage skill practice at home.
When there are just a few completed papers in the daily take-home folder, it gives parents a clear picture of what happened at school that day. They are able to ask specific questions that their child is more likely to answer. It’s easier for them to remember details about one or two activities instead of a week full of work!
5. Save Space
Kindergartners do a LOT during the school week! These papers and activities need a place to live until students take them home. When they are only added to take-home folders on Fridays, that means mailboxes, turn-in baskets, and cubbies quickly fill up! By sending home papers each day, you can keep student mailboxes tidy and your classroom free of student work piles that are waiting to go home.
6. Build a Routine
One of the most important reasons to send papers home each day is that it builds routine, both at home and at school. Families are able to get in the habit of looking through the take-home folder each night and sending it back each morning. The folder becomes a backpack staple that is part of the daily routine!
While kindergartners eventually figure out that certain things happen on different days of the week, it’s so much easier to build a routine around daily tasks. When students know that they need to grab the papers from their mailbox every day, it becomes a smooth routine when it’s time to go home. When students take home papers on one particular day, it will take longer for this to become a routine.
Kindergarten Communication Folder Printables
Would you like to start sending home kindergarten communication folders each day instead of waiting for Friday? I have created a resource to help you set up your daily take-home folders. It contains communication logs and folder covers that you can edit to fit the needs of your classroom! Would you like to take a closer look? You can find this resource in the Teaching Exceptional Kinders shop or on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Save These Kindergarten Communication Folder Tips
I hope you've found these tips to be helpful as you decide on a take-home folder routine. If you'd like to revisit these tips and resources, be sure to save this pin to your favorite teaching board! You’ll be able to quickly find these tips and resources for daily communication folders.