When something is very important, it’s not uncommon for us to overcomplicate it. This is definitely the case when it comes to parent communication! We know how essential it is to communicate effectively with parents and guardians throughout the year. This is why it can be tempting to overthink the tools we’re using to keep families informed and involved. In this post, I’m going to share my favorite simple and easy-to-use tools that you can use for parent-teacher communication in your classroom.
6 Simple Tools for Parent-Teacher Communication
Communicating with families is an important part of building positive relationships with your students. Those relationships are vital in order to establish solid classroom management.
Over the course of the school year, there will be many reasons why you will need to reach out to the families of your students. I have compiled a list of seven simple tools that you can use to meet this wide range of communication needs in your classroom.
1. Kindergarten Skills Handouts
You can set the tone for a year of positive communication with informative parent handouts. These helpful tools can explain some of the concepts that your students will be working on during the year. Your kindergarten routine and curriculum will likely be much different than the half-day experience that parents had! These informative handouts will help parents feel more confident and equipped to support learning at home.
A monthly at-a-glance calendar is another helpful way to communicate with parents. Digital reminder apps like SeeSaw are helpful for day-to-day reminders and schedule changes. However, I’ve found that there’s just no substitute for a hard copy calendar that families can reference daily.
While it’s common for the schedule to change throughout the month, a printed calendar can give parents the opportunity to plan for things that are typically scheduled well in advance and are unlikely to be changed. I like to include things like early release days, special events, and field trips.
3. Glow and Grow Notes
Communicating with parents about behavior can be one of the more time-consuming parts of school-home communication. That is why I love to use one simple note to give both positive and constructive feedback about behavior. Parents love to hear about what their children are doing well! When these positive notes are sent home consistently, it can improve classroom behavior in many ways. It also makes your constructive feedback more effective because you have taken the time to nurture that relationship by sending home positive notes.
4. Parent-Teacher Conference Forms
When conference time rolls around, there are several ways that you can streamline the process of scheduling and gathering information for conferences. By adding some simple forms to your conference planning, you can increase family attendance and participation. These communication tools include sign-up forms, parent input questionnaires, and conference reminder slips!
5. “Just Because” Teacher Notes
Another simple way to improve parent-teacher communication is to keep a stack of teacher notes handy. You can even use cute seasonal paper to add some festivity to your notes. This is just another simple way to keep parents informed about things that happen at school. It might be a word of encouragement about a new concept they are learning, a thank you note for a kind deed, or an expression of gratitude to have them in your class.
These notes are generally addressed to students, but they will be eager to show them to their grown-ups when they get home. This will give parents something to talk about from the school day, which makes them feel more involved in what happens at school.
6. Take-Home Folders
If you decide to use any of the parent-teacher communication tools I’ve mentioned so far, you’ll want to consider implementing a take-home folder system for your classroom. In addition to giving you a place to keep your communication tools from getting lost in backpacks, the folder itself can be used to communicate with parents.
In a previous post, I shared that I like to use folders with prongs for my take-home folders. This gives me a place to keep the communication tools that parents can reference over and over, such as the calendar and informative handouts. Then other papers can be added to the pockets of the folders for parents to review.
Another communication tool that you can add to the center of a take-home folder is a daily communication log. It gives you a place to jot down a sentence or two to parents whenever there is a need. You can also edit this log each week to type in notes that you want all students to have, such as a reminder about wearing tennis shoes on PE day.
Printable Parent-Teacher Communication Tools
All of the communication tools that I mentioned above can be found in one money-saving download! This bundle of printable and editable tools has everything you need to maintain consistent and effective communication with families. If you’d like to take a closer look at everything included in this bundle, you can find it in the Teaching Exceptional Kinders shop or on TPT.
Save These Parent-Teacher Communication Tools
Would you like to improve and streamline your communication with families? Be sure to save the pin below to your favorite teaching board on Pinterest! You’ll be able to quickly locate these parent-teacher communication tools whenever you’re ready to download and print.