Classroom Newsletters

Chrispeels, Boruta, and Daugherty (1988) describe classroom newsletters:

"Classroom newsletters are an excellent way to keep in touch with parents and help them be a part of their child's education. Frequent and regular class newsletters enable parents to sense the feeling and momentum of the class and gain insights into what their child is learning.

Class newsletters can include simple graphics, samples of student work, and parent education information. The newsletter is a good way to let parents know what is being studied in different curricular areas. It can give information about upcoming events and areas to be studied, as well as recent accomplishments of individual students and the class.

Class newsletters can be done in a variety of forms. The most important aspect is to keep them simple so that the communication can be maintained. If English is not the language spoken at home, translate the newsletter if possible. Perhaps a volunteer or a parent of one of the students in the class will do the translation. If it is not possible to do a translation of the class newsletter in the home language of the parent, be sure to review the newsletter with students, and ask students to tell their parents what is in the newsletter.

Teacher-Written Newsletters
The primary goal of a teacher-written newsletter is to communicate on a regular basis with the home. The format of this written communication can range from a traditional newsletter to a weekly lesson plan or a monthly calendar.

Student-Written Newsletters
Organizing your students to produce a regular class newsletter engages them in a meaningful language arts activity. Since a primary goal of the newsletter is to communicate with parents, the sections of the newsletter should reflect this goal. Some possibilities are:

If you are using computers in your classroom, newsletter articles can be written on the computer, printed out, arranged into your newsletter format, and then duplicated for distribution. An easy way to produce a regular weekly student-written newsletter is to give each student their own one-page newsletter 'skeleton' to fill in." (pp. 137-138)

Courtesy of the San Diego County Office of Education.

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