Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Do you send home newsletters? I didn't although I knew I should because the thought of designing one required too much energy. And energy wasn't something I had in extra supply those first few years of teaching. It wasn't until I found Nadine Jacobsen-McLean's wikispace and saw how she set up hers that I decided I did actually need a newsletter.

For over 500 kids I don't send it home every month but every other month. I include all of the following:

  • Learning targets and vocabulary that we are learning
  • Links to videos we are watching in class
  • A set of their very own at home si se puede bubbles
  • Ideas for how to practice at home 

Do many of these end up in the trash or crumpled at the bottom of a backpack? Absolutely. But lots of kids also tell me that they watched one of our videos at home. Or that they practice their Spanish with "that paper you gave me."

Last year I just sent them home and didn't mention them to students. That was a mistake. This year I included it as part of our beginning of the year "orientation" where we go over rules, procedures, and proficiency levels in English. I explained what it was and how to use it.

Not surprisingly, I've had a lot more kids tell me they actually use it this year. I've only sent out one but I will remind them each time they get a new one to a) look for it from their teachers and b) to put it on their fridge or somewhere else so they can remember to practice.

And in case you're like me and the thought of making your own newsletter sounds like too much right now, I've made editable versions. Just download, input your information, and print. Click on the picture below!

Do you send home newsletters? What do you include? How have you gotten your students to actually use them at home? Share in the comments below!


  1. Thank you for writing about this! I was just thinking about this very same topic, as my district dropped Print Shop (which I used for all of my newsletters )and I have been thinking about where I want to go with newsletters now that I am forced to change up what I do. I loved hearing what you include in yours and that you think they are worthwhile! I struggle with paper vs. paperless, but think parents won't read them if I don't send an actual paperhome... I will definitely check out yours on TpT! Thank you, as always, for another relevant and timely topic to think about.

    1. I agree that even though there's a push for paperless that paper just carries more "weight." I see newsletters not only as practice for students but as part of my ongoing advocacy for my program. When parents are aware of what their kids are doing in class and have them practice at home they are more likely to support it if it were ever on the chopping board. :-)

      Thanks for commenting and reading the blog!

  2. I teach K- 5 and send home newsletters every month. I tell the parents what the kids have learned, vocal covered, photos and links to resources for extensions.