I think one of the best ways to communicate to parents about what is going on in the classroom weekly is by putting together a newsletter. The newsletter can consist of any information you want to include. Some ideas are, good websites, reading tips, what the kids have done during the week, upcoming events, school event information, pictures, kudos, and reminders.

Depending on the age of your students, you can get the kids to put the newsletter together. You can group kids by section of the newsletter, and have them produce a few. Rotate the groups so that the kids have had a chance to produce each section of the newsletter. This will really help students take pride in the newsletter, and make sure that their parents read it! Even at a young age, you can have the students brainstorm about what they want you to write in the newsletter during a morning meeting. You can have them help you make decisions about which pictures to put in for the week, etc. Let them help, especially since the information is about them!

Your Newsletter can be very simple to complex, whatever you want. Here are a few free templates I’ve found. Enjoy.

Cheers, Melissa!

     

This is from the Crafty Teacher – This templates can be found here and here.

This Newsletter is completely blank, so you can make it all your own! I got it from Teacher Laura

I think teachers are the most creative beings on the planet. There are so many happenings during one day that teachers have to deal with that they are forced to become creative, beg, borrow and steal ideas to handle every issue that hits them in the face!

Here is an amazing idea for Behavior Management that doesn’t cost you anything! This is from Mel D’s site. She is a first grade teacher with an amazing blog! This idea is perfect, instead of spending money on treasure (candy, little toys, erasers, etc) all you need to do is print out tickets for the kids to use when they earn them. One ticket is, “Sit at my desk for a day!” The students gets to sit at your desk and feel Royal for the day! Awesome idea, and it is free! This is a really great idea for those with special behavior issues. You can make tickets that are geared toward their interests, like make tickets for puzzle time, shaving cream play time, or computer time.

Isn’t this awesome?!?!?!

Check out the page where she describes this awesome classroom management tool.

Hope you enjoy these great finds, and you can utilize them to the best of your ability!

 

 

Cute Desk Fairy Cards that you slip into desks when you see that they are neat and organized

I found this great idea about how to encourage kids to keep their desks organized by giving them a surprise when you notice that their desk is neat. This is from teachingheart.net. A few of the things the site are free and some you need to pay for. Here is the quick link to just print out the tags.

So, I know you all know about the new hotness that is, Draw Something. Well, Conrey and I play it every night before snuggling and drifting off to sleep cuddled in each others arms. I really mean, before I kick him to his side of our King size bed, surround myself with my fortress of pillows, and if he dares encroaches on my side I kick him! Well, I have added a a fun twist to our games. At the end of each of my drawings, I add a monster eating whatever it is that I drew. It is the highlight of my night, and yes I do giggle uncontrollably as I draw the monster eating a head with blood spurting out of its mouth! When Chris see’s the monster at the end, he giggles too.

Earlier this week, Conrey put a spin on our games by taking it away from the iPhone. If you didn’t know already, he loves to leave me love notes in silly ways around the house every so often. One of his favorites is to draw on our bathroom mirror. The other morning he drew this on my side of the mirror:

Draw Something on the Bathroom Mirror

Don’t you just love Conrey’s work? Well, he has been disappointed that I have not “guessed” what he drew as of yet. So, today I thought of the perfect response. Here it is, Conrey:

Of course the monster is eating Conrey & not me!

I love you Conrey. Life is never dull with you. You keep me on my toes, and I hope I keep your life just as interesting!

My Volunteering buddy for the day. She was a trooper!

WordCamp was AWESOME! I was fortunate to be a part of the WordPress community for 2 days, and I enjoyed every minute of it. WordCamp is everything about WordPress, blogging, websites, analytics, networking, and so much more! I met some great people, got some adult interaction, and was able to give back to WordCamp all in one flash of a weekend!

I spent part of Friday learning  how to set up word press. Look, I learned something, because here I am! I had my four month old, Emma Rosemarie, with me, so I learned as much as I could before she became a teething monster distracting everyone from learning about the greatness that is WordPress. And, yes, I am sure there is a plug-in for that, but I didn’t want to look through them all! It was neat to see how many people took advantage of the Free Friday class. I even saw Jeff Weninger, Chandler City Counselman, there getting his learnin’ on.

Saturday was the most amazing part of Word Camp. Amanda Blum, Chuck Reynolds, Sally Streble, Catherine Leyen, Amy Sellers and many more folks organized one heck of a day! I volunteered to help on Saturday, since I only really wanted to attend the Friday Free class. Emma and I were out the door at 6:30 and we were greeted with smiling faces at the Chandler Center for the Arts! I helped organize volunteer sweatshirts, serve breakfast, tell people about the zero waste aspect of the event, set up tables and chairs, help serve lunch, break down tables and chairs, & walk chairs about 1/4 of a mile down Arizona Avenue to City Hall all with a baby strapped to me! (Okay, Conrey came in the afternoon, and he had some time with Emma strapped to him as well.) It was a blast though. I would do it again, and in fact I will do it again, next year. Everything went smoothly, the food was great, the snacks were fabulous and the people were all interesting and personable. I even learned a thing or two on Saturday.

On Saturday, I had to slip away to feed Emma and I sat in on a google analytics session – The Metrics System with Joshua Ziering. I didn’t think I would understand anything that he was talking about, but I did! You would think that WordCamp is just for the die hard folk who know coding, full-time, well known bloggers, etc., but it is for any and everybody! It is a great conference for small businesses, non-profit organizations,  handmade business people. If I were to ever start an online business, I have a lot of cool tips from Mr. Ziering to keep my site fresh, full of purpose and funneling!

So, in short, I had an awesome weekend, and I am wearing my vollie sweatshirt. Yes, I will wear it to bed, and you can laugh if you want, I don’t care!

I also got some warm fuzzy’s from my day. This is part of an e-mail Catherine sent to those who volunteered. Who knew one little conference could do so much!

By helping others learn more about WordPress, the economy locally will grow, businesses will begin to prosper, ideas will foster, individuals will find their online voices, and freedom will be expressed.

One cog in the wheel can do so much! I got out and got involved in my community. Now you go out and get involved in your community, and meet some new, interesting people while you are at it!

Oh, and Elizabeth Newlin has a pretty good post about WordCamp as well. Her definition about what it is all about is better than mine.   Go and enjoy her site (She is a little funny, too!).