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Home : 2002 : Jul : 5

    By Helen

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    I have done hand drawn weekly newsletters ( We created them on a blown up sheet of paper, the children handwrote the daily news and the weather, my asst. took the big sheet Fridays after the children finished and pulled it down on the copy machine, to fit regular copy paper and printed off enough for each child to have one. We posted the larger sheet in a class book for reference in class. (See Wright Group Resource materials for template)
    I have done monthly letters with a theme, like "Berry Bites" We had a stuffed teddy bear named "Berry Bear"(Our town is famous for strawberries) who made the rounds to the children's homes with his little backpack and journal. I did it in Word and inserted graphics with my computer..did it on a Newspaper type format.
    Currently,I do a notebook on the line of the MOOSE notebooks discussed on Proteacher and the old Proteacher Mailring several years ago. In it I send s weekly letter to parents, expressing our successes from the week before, tidbits of interest, the five new spelling words for the week and our instructional objectives for the week. I use this to explain anything new we are doing, remind parents of coming events, due dates, pictures dates etc. I also insert small pictures of the children doing some of the special things we have done. Some are a page long, some two or three depending upon the needs of the week. I just use letter format (Word) for these. I also send a monthly calendar with reminders of special events, that I know of, printed into the blocks. This notebook also contains a yearly school calendar.
    In each case , it is extra work, you will find some weeks you are swamped and don't feel that you have time to do it all. If you miss a week, you may have one or two parents to ask about it, you may have none. In conferences, one or two will thank you, others nothing. You have to decide, yourself, if it is worth it and if you are teaching in a community where it will make a difference. Sometimes, you feel..if it makes a difference for just one kid, it is worth it....other times you will be so swamped and tired you will feel like..Who cares?
    You must make your own decision about the format and the time you have to do it.
    Mailbox Companion, I think, has a downloadable monthly newsletter form. If I remember correctly so do some other teacher sites but that one comes to mind

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