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Five Simple Ways To Improve Parent Teacher Communication

There are so many important components of running your classroom such as organization, management and building relationships.  One of the most important relationships we can build is that of our home/school connection.  We need those families helping us to bridge our learning from  school to home.

Most parents are so grateful for all that we do, and  can be great partners in our classrooms.  Often times we notify parents only when something is amiss in the classroom or to remind them to turn in their permission slips. With everything we are juggling it can be hard to find the time to communicate with parents in positive ways.
Here are 5 easy ways that you can keep parents in the loop and maintain positive relationships throughout the year.

1. Email

One of the easiest ways to let parents know what's happening is through a weekly email blast. I set up a gmail account specifically for this.  You can add in all of your parent emails and make a group. You can then send out the email highlighting the details for the week.  Here is a link to the google tutorial on how to set it all up and keep your parent emails private. Gmail Tutorial

2. Weekly/Monthly Newsletter
Another easy way to keep parents up to date is with a weekly or monthly newsletter. I have had years where I needed to send weekly letters and others where monthly was ideal. You can use a simple template and update it as you see fit.  This particular template I created in Powerpoint and I just change the text monthly. I use bright colored paper so it is more noticeable in Homework folders.

3. Parent Communication Apps

There are a few apps out there that help teachers communicate with parents.  The most popular are ClassTag, Remind and Class Dojo.  I recently shared a post about ClassTag and the many features it entails.  It is so simple to use, it's free and you can earn rewards for your classroom.
Check out my post HERE or head over to the site and sign up.

4. Classroom Facebook Page

Most of our parents are on Facebook and it makes sense to set up a private group where they can communicate with you, share pictures and reminders of upcoming events. It also makes it easy for them to private message you about any concerns they may have. Make sure to check with your school or district policy as to whether or not you are allowed to share on social media. Remember this is a private group and only parents you invite will have access to the group not your personal page.


5. Personal Phone Calls or Caught Being Good Notes

How often do we find ourselves contacting parents when something negative has happened in class. I think it is so important to make those positive calls or messages.  Take time to pick a few students each week to send home a Caught Being Good Note, phone call or email.  The smallest gestures can have a huge impact on not only your students, but parents.  They will appreciate hearing anything wonderful about their child.

*The above template is in my Free Back To School Communication Pack. Click on the link or picture above to take you to my TpT shop.

These are all simple ideas, that can make a huge impact impact in your classroom.  I hope you have at least gained one new idea. Do you currently use any of these things?  What else have you used that makes communication easy? Leave me a comment below, I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Summer Fun

Aloha Friends!!

I hope you are off to a great summer vacation, and if you are still in the classroom I hope you are enjoying some fun end of the year activities.

I am home for the summer and enjoying some down time. However my internal alarm is still on!!


With some extra time on my hands I have been working on a few fun items.

I have been planning a monthly series of fun Riddle Review Sheets.  I just finished a summer version.


Each page has a different skill and a riddle to decode.  I created a similar pack at Christmas and have a freebie from March if you want to check them out.

I know how much my students love solving new riddles, so I really enjoyed putting this together.
You can click on the picture to  pick it up in my TpT shop.

If you just need a little something to use with your class these last few weeks or if your teaching summer school, this would be a great resource to have on hand.

I also created a Word Search that I used with my class and have uploaded it in my shop as a freebie.
It also includes another Ocean Themed Word Search and a challenge activity to go with it.  Summer time and the ocean are two of my favorite things and I'm sure you will enjoy using them with your class! 

Summertime is such an important time for us to recoup and gain back our teaching stamina for the fall.  If you are already soaking up the sun, I hope you enjoy every minute! 

Happy Summer! 



Using Classtag For Parent Communication

Aloha Friends! I hope your holidays have been fabulous and restful.  We all need to recoup and prepare for the year ahead.

Something I strive to work on each year is my classroom organization.  I recently was told about a new app to help with parent communication called ClassTag.

There are other apps out there that I have tried and they all seem to have faded from my use. Most were great for a particular purpose such as messaging or posting photos.  However, I'm really excited about using ClassTag and all the features it has to offer.
This app has everything you need to keep parents in the loop and even has a few extras to make it even more fun to use.

The layout is very intuitive.

Start out by simply adding in all your class information. The app will send out invites for parents to sign up and communicate all through the app.  You can then send out weekly newsletters, events, volunteer requests, conferences and even upload photos to share with families.


The app also gives you incentives to use it.  You are rewarded with coins to receive gifts for your classroom. Who doesn't love free stuff for your classroom?


On top of all that it even gives you weekly stats on which parents are using the app and who has received the information.  It will let you know if you have hard to reach parents and give you alternative methods for communicating with them such as sending home a paper copy of your newsletter.

It even sends your parents a weekly summary.

Apparently the app was created by former teachers and they seem to have dialed in everything you need to up your parent communication.

I think it's an awesome way to organize and have everything in one place. Head over to ClassTag right now and sign up.  I would greatly appreciate you using my link so I can earn coins for my class as well.

Hopefully this app can help you start the year off with one more tool for your classroom.



Freebie Friday

Aloha friends!! How was your Thanksgiving? I really enjoyed the time off and cooking with my family. This year I made Prime Rib.  It was delicious and so decadent!

Are you ready to hit the Black Friday sales today?  I'm not a fan of the crowds, but good luck if you head out.  I think I am going to stay in and be crafty.

I just wanted to share a fun freebie center I created for you to use in your class this coming month.




My kids always need to review nouns so I whipped up this Christmas themed center.  I love the graphics by From The Pond! I just had to use them in something creative.

Simply download it, print and enjoy using it in your class this season. Please leave a review and let me know what you think.

If you like it then check out my Santa's On His Way Literacy Centers.  I have just updated them to include 4 new centers.





I have included a Black and White version if you want to save on ink or print on colored card stock. My class always loves new centers and I can't wait to share these with them.

Mahalo for stopping by and I hope you enjoy your freebie.


Math Tools For Your 2nd Grade Classroom

Aloha friends!! I know many of you are off to a great start and your school year is in full swing! Many of you are returning to your previous position, but I know some of you may be new to 2nd grade this year.

It's so exciting to venture into a new grade and curriculum.  It definitely keeps us busy and always looking for new ways and ideas to keep our lessons flowing and kiddos engaged.

Last year I had two new colleagues who were brand new to 2nd grade.  It was fun to collaborate and share ideas.  They came to me quite often and asked how I was teaching a certain lesson and what materials I was using.  Quite often I realized they did not have any resources to draw from since they were new to the grade level.  We shared as much as we could between our classrooms.

After teaching 2nd grade for 21 years I had purchased, collected or created many of the resources that I was using in my classroom, especially in math. It can be overwhelming for a new teacher to see all that I had and not be able to purchase it or create it.  So I decided to put together a toolkit for them.


We went through many of the lessons in our math curriculum and I discussed with them what materials I used quite a bit of.  I then recreated them in a simple format so they could print and use them as needed.




When all was said and done there were close to 300 pages of manipulatives, templates and posters!!
The paper coins are set up so you can print double sided and have them with a front and back.  The red and yellow counters are the same.

All are easy to print and can be used immediately or can be laminated to use all year long. You can even print on Astrobright paper to add some color.

I think this is a great way to get started without breaking the bank.  If this is something you could use in your classroom, hop on over to my TpT shop and check it out!!


One last thing that I wanted to share.  I revamped a math freebie from a few years back. These poem posters have been great to use in my class for money recognition.




 Just click on any of the pictures to grab them in my TpT shop.

I hope these items will be helpful for your upcoming school year. If there is anything that you think I should add to this toolkit please let me know!


Digital Planning

Aloha friends!  March is upon us and Spring Break is right around the corner! Then only 1 quarter left!! This year has flown by and there has been a lot going on in my school.

We have a new administrator and she is very tech savvy and moving our school along the tech path.    Our little country school by the beach is cute, but not high tech.

This year our principal has really focused on making us a 1:1 school.  All students in my class now have a Chromebook and all of our data and info is online in Google Docs.

I decided it was time for me to catch up and begin creating my lesson planners in a digital version.


My Blushing Pink Planner is one of my most popular planners and is now available in a digital version.  Simply open it up in Google drive and add your own text, tables, charts or graphics.







 You can access your plans, data and calendar from any digital device through Google.
If you have purchased one of my planners in the past it is essentially the same format.  It includes:

Cover Slides
Organizing Pages
Planner Pages
Grade Book
Calendar Pages
Blank Templates For Your Own Creations

The file comes with 104 different slides. You can delete any you don't need or create a new page with the templates I have provided. There are 18 different planner pages to choose from along with two background choices.
Now all of your plans and info are online, easy to share with admin and colleagues and looks stylish and fun!

Are you ready to go to paperless planning?  Head over to my TpT shop to check out this planner. I will be rolling out all of my planners in digital form soon, so keep checking back for your favorite design.



Valentine Treats

Aloha and Happy Valentine's Day!!  
Wishing you a wonderful Valentine's Day and a little treat.
TpT is having a sitewide sale.  All items in my store will be 20% off
plus another 5% off when you enter Code: XOXO.

Head on over and find a few treats to make this Valentine's Day a little sweeter!



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