Starting the Year Off Right: Communicating with Parents

OK...this is a long one.
Communicating with parents is one of the hardest (if not THE hardest) aspect of our job. Each and every day, the light of someone's entire world walks into our classroom doors.  It is only natural that we keep them informed of what is going on in our room and with their child.


With that being said, it is something that I struggle with each year. Keeping 30+ students’ parents informed of the goings on in class is challenging to say the least. But there are some things that I have done to at least try to keep the lines of communication open. Here are a few ideas for you that I use in my classroom.

Communication Magnets
On the first day of school, I send home a packet of information about my classroom. In that packet is a magnet with my name, room number, school phone, classroom website, and my email address. This magnet has a little letter accompanying it asking the parents to place this on the refrigerator for the entire year. Even if it is just to remember my name, the magnet helps the parents to feel comfortable contacting me. I made my magnet using the business card sized magnets you can buy at your local office supply store and my computer. It was fairly simple to create, yet has a tremendous impact on my year.

Welcome Packet
As I mentioned above, I also send home a welcome packet with all of the information that the parents could possibly need in order to really understand my classroom.  In this packet, I include a welcome letter, information about my discipline policy (classroom economy actually), a heads up to the daily planner and weekly folders that will go home, permission forms for checking out my library books, a volunteer form, etc...  Basically, everything that they will need to feel confident and comfortable as a parent in my room.  Here are the letters that I send home.  They are editable (in Word) for you to customize to your own classroom.


Weekly Reports
This is a Spanish sample (that I made up, for privacy reasons)
The most effective way I have found to keep the parents informed is by sending out a Weekly Report. I have created a form, which I use each and every week in my class, that is basically a “check and circle” type of form. I note the behavior, academic progress, and any areas of need each week and send it home. Even in my classes of 36 students, I was able to get these done and sent home. The parents become accustomed to looking for it, and the students become accustomed to getting it signed and discussed with their parents. The best part of it is that I NEVER have a parent who is “surprised” come report card time. The Weekly Report basically keeps them in the know of all things regarding their child.  You can get the Weekly Report form I created {free} here.


Tell Me About Your Child
One of the most effective ways I have found to get to know my students better is by enlisting the help of their parents. At Back to School Night I place a little brainstorm bubble on the desks of the students. As the parents sit there, I ask them to fill it in with anything they wish me to know about their child. This truly has opened my eyes about the little learners sitting in my classroom. But a side effect is that the parents then know that I care about their child as a CHILD. It helps to put them at ease when the person who represents their entire world is sitting in my classroom for ¼ of the day. They are then more apt to work with me because I showed I cared.  Here is the {free} document that I use for this. 

So there you have it…four simple ways that I have used to try and keep the flow of communication between the parents and myself going throughout the year. What have you done in your room that has been effective?

Looking for even more ideas for back to school time??  Some of my upper grade friends have some great ideas that I know you will just love!  Click on any of the links below to visit some amazing blogs :)

209 comments

  1. I try to make at lest two phone calls a day one positive and one with room for improvement that way by the end of the month I have reached all of my parents.

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  2. I send out weekly classroom email blasts that say important announcements and what we are learning that week.

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  3. We send out a newsletter each month, but I loved your ideas. I need to improve my communication with parents!

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  4. I use Instagram to share class pictures almost daily, and I also make positive phone calls, send emails, calls on a regular basis, also.

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  5. What an awesome blog post - thank-you so much for the free template. I love the idea of the magnets - I'm off to design my own right now! :)

    To keep parents informed, I send home a weekly newsletter on Fridays with important information for the following week. I also send home a calendar of the month's tests and quizzes for the parents to post on their fridge. No more surprise math tests!

    Also, as a positive classroom management tool, students in my classroom can earn a "good e-mail" - if they do something praise-worthy (work diligently, go above and beyond, are exceptionally kind to a classmate) I send a quick e-mail to their parents, filled with nothing but "good news." The parents love hearing about their child at school and the kids are very motivated to earn one. A win-win!

    ~Jessica
    Joy in the Journey

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  6. A simple phone call goes a long way.

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  7. Send bi-weekly updates full of information and I try to be available by email with other questions..

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  8. I send out a weekly newsletter to keep parents informed.

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  9. Last year we did a classroom newspaper where each student wrote an article, and I emailed to parents each week. When things popped up I sent emails and made phone calls.

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  10. I send out a newsletter every week, but I just save my newsletters each year and then edit them to fit the current year since most of the units I teach are similar each year! :)

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  11. I use phone calls, e-mail, note home. This year I am going to try to use newsletters, Remind, and message bracelets.

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  12. Students write their own weekly letter home! First, we brainstorm ideas, and then the students write away!

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  13. Great ideas - thanks for sharing!

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  14. I send home a monthly calendar. On the front side, I have the calendar with all the important dates and things that are coming soon. On the back, I have the behavior log that is marked daily if student's have difficulty. I also give them my phone number so I can answer questions easily. I dislike talking on the phone because I feel like I talk all day long! LOL Fingers crossed!

    kellybrown28021@gmail.com

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  15. I use Edmodo and Remind to let parents know what is going on in my classroom. Edmodo allows me to attach documents, pictures or videos.

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  16. I send an email each Monday telling the parents the homework for the week, the tests/quizzes that are coming up, and any general school information they might like/need to know. It keeps them informed about class and gives them an easy way to get with me if they have any questions - they just have to reply to the email. :)
    ~Amanda from His and Her Hobbies

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  17. My school uses planner/agendas for the students. We teach them to use the calendar themselves and to enter important information. This helps the students to be organized as well!

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  18. Last year I sent out weekly newsletters, but I am hoping to improve that. I love the form you shared

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  19. Our district uses a site called Schoology in which I update at the end of every day with homework and important information!

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  20. I started sending out magnets with my name, phone, and email last year (thanks to your post) and my parents loved it! I also included the number to the front office so that they could have all the important numbers in one place.

    To keep parents updated on grades, I send out a grade report every two weeks. This is (thankfully) computer generated by our grading software, and lists each assignment along with subject averages. I highlight low or missing grades and have the parents sign and return it with their student. I also write in any behavior comments. Since I started doing this, I have had no parent complaints about lack of communication and have seen an increase in completion of missing/low work.

    Thanks for all your posts- I love reading them!!

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  21. I use remind 101 to send text messages with important info. and reminders.

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  22. I try to call up parents at least once a month to keep them updated about their child's progress. We also have a communication handbook that is used school-wide to help us with parent communication.

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  23. I send home a weekly newsletter. I include upcoming tests, lessons that went really well, student samples, and always - my contact info.

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  24. I send home a weekly newsletter to help keep my parents informed. I am also excited to try a free app called Remind101 this year!

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  25. We send out monthly programs and post on Edmodo on a daily basis.

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  26. I have a daily communication log (check off boxes to make it quick, but room to write notes if needed) and a monthly calendar.

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  27. I also give parents business cards w/magnets that have my contact info on them during Open House, as well as sending home weekly newsletters and emails (for those students who magically lose the newsletter between the classroom and home).

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  28. Some super awesome ideas. I love the magnet idea! I think I will definitely give that a try this year. Thanks!

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  29. Love your thoughts and thank you for sharing!!

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  30. I send home a weekly check-in letting parents know about student's work habits and behavior throughout the week. It's simple to check a few boxes and leave a comment or two if needed. Parents then sign the check-in and students return it to me Monday morning

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  31. I love the idea of a weekly letter. I do send home all papers on Fridays, and parents are required to sign failing papers. I like the behavior piece, to let them know when behavior is off at school.

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  32. I send home a weekly report (:

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  33. Thanks for the circle map - I've used that before.
    I start interacting with my parents before they ever enter fifth grade. I make a point to be part of the school community (and it's a small school - only 2 sections per grade level) so that I meet parents a few years before theirkids are in my class. This helps because I have a trusting relationship from day one. I also use something similar to your weekly form called our behavior card. The front has a place for any missing homework assignments (filled out throughout the week - I cross it out if it's turned in) and a place for me to write a note about behavior...typically a positive one! If a child is acting in inappropriate ways, I sometimes have THEM write the note to their parents. As the year goes on we also add a goal. On the backside is all the main I can statements from the week. The kids rate where they are and answer a few random self-assessment questions. :) Parents sign and it's turned in by Tuesday. The whole thing is simple and effective.

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  34. Thank you for the files! I have a weekly newsletter that I send home with what we are studying in each subject, a "calendar of events", including tests and next week's upcoming events, and other special information.

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  35. I send home a weekly newsletter and notes home. I love the other ideas though!

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  36. I send tests and quizzes home every other week. My school system also uses a program where parents have access to their child's grades via my gradebook.

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  37. I do weekly emails to parents giving info on what we're studying, upcoming field trips and due dates, and anything else I think is important.

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  38. I do a weekly homework newsletter that lets parents know what special events are happening this week, what we are learning about/working on, has samples of student art/writing... The children take the weekly newsletter home in a duotang on Monday, complete their part, and return it on Friday.
    -Lisa
    Grade 4 Buzz

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  39. I used Remind 101 last year. They changed the name to just Remind. It's a way to text parents without giving your phone number out! I only had about 5 parents sign up, so my goal this year is to get much more!

    Rachel
    A Tall Drink of Water

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  40. I have a weekly newsletter and will also make a positive phone call to parents at least twice throughout the year. :)

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  41. I send home a monthly newsletter!

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  42. I use Remind101! I had over 80 parents and students sign up last year. Communication was so easy and effective!

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  44. Oh and I send home bi-weekly communication packets with students work and a personal comment about each student. I think I'll add your template to my packet! Thanks again!

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  45. we use Schoology (like facebook, for education!) in our school, so my team has a site where we put all communication to parents. we have 1-1 ipads in our school, so students/parents rarely have an excuse of not knowing the information!

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    1. Thanks for posting about this Sara! I am going to look this up. My new school has 1-1 iPads and this would be great to use for parents!

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  46. I do make phone calls (both positive and not so positive) weekly. Also I email directly with parents. Thanks for your tips!

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  47. I send out a weekly newsletter that shares what we did for the week in each subject. It also reminds them of upcoming test, quizzes, & activities.

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  48. We use planners so I always check them daily and write in any extra notes parents may need. This year I'm going to try Remind101 and see how that goes!

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  49. I send out a newsletter to help my parents stay informed.

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  50. I send home a weekly newsletter and also talk to my parents at dismissal.

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  51. I use Remind, Class Dojo, email, and I have a Facebook page.

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  52. This year, I'm changing schools so, things are a little still out in the open. I'm getting new ideas from blogs to change things up just a little. I know some of the things I have done things in the past and will continue to use are: Remind (use to be Remind 101) to send weekly texts to parents, postcards for Parent Teacher Conferences (once a quarter), a Parent Reading Survey (about their child & another about their habits in Reading), Class Dojo, and of course, emails :) Another idea I found that I want to try out is have each parent write their address on an envelope at Meet the Teacher Night. I want to mail each week or every two weeks, 1-2 letters to parents letting them know how great their student is doing.

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  53. I made really inexpensive postcards at vista print and send out a postcard in the mail! I also use my teacher website to keep in contact with parents!

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  54. To build community in my classroom, I have monthly "socials" at the park. Sometimes it's bring your own food, other times I'll provide something or a snack but it's always a low key way to connect with families outside of school. This year I'm also using my class web page, Instagram, and weekly emails/newsletters as well as continuing to contact 1-2 parents weekly just to check in with positive reports on their kids.

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  55. I send out a weekly email update on what we did in class, any announcements, reminders, etc. Parents love it and know that they can contact me via email because of it.

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  56. I send home weekly newsletters to keep parents informed

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  57. This is something that I need to get better at! I'm hoping to be able to do maybe an email update. I'm busy brainstorming because I have a reading class, math class and then our homerooms rotate through and I'll be social studies teacher for our 5th grade. Thanks for the tips!
    Steph
    Simple Insights

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  58. I haven't done it but might use it this year. Part of class dojo is weekly parent emails with behaviour reports.

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  59. Weekly newsletters, Remind101, and a classroom Facebook page!

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  60. I will definitely use the Brainstorm Bubble this year. Thank you!

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  61. I send out a weekly newsletter with the upcoming topics in my room along with any special announcements. I also use Remind101 to keep my parents informed of upcoming tests or project due dates. Anything that I want to get out directly to parents I use Remind because sometimes parents can get busy and things like project due dates slip their minds! Love it!

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  62. I send out a monthly Curriculum newsletter to inform the parents of big upcoming dates and to give them a break-down of what we are working on in each subject. I also send out weekly emails each Sunday night to give parents an update on the week ahead (mostly just for dates and student reminders).

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  63. First year teacher here! I am so excited to work with parents! I teach 5th grade at a middle school that starts in 5th grade! Since students are at a new building for the first time since they started school, we have a "5th grade orientation" before open house to help those parents know what their 5th grader's routine will look like. We escort our students and they are never mingled with the "big kids." This routine provides comfort for student and parent.

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  64. Thanks for sharing! I love your ideas, particularly the magnet. I'm definitely going to have to get some. And I'm going to check out your back to school letters on tpt too.

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  65. Last year I set up a blog for my classroom & I post daily homework, as well as important documents/reminders on it. At open house, I have each parent sign up for the RSS feed!

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  66. To keep parents informed I send home a daily communication log. It is a simple checklist with positive statements about the child's behavior. If something is not checked, parents know it was a problem!

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  67. I teach students with Autism and I do the welcome thing at the beginning of the school year. I use email and lots of phone calls home. I do a monthly newsletter as well. In addition, I will text parents, if they want, with pictures or texts of special moments. I do a monthly scrapbook page or two at the end of the month, and send the scrapbook home at the end of the year.

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  68. Love the weekly letter home to keep parents informed!

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  69. We are asked to send home a weekly newsletter, but I also make 4 phone calls home a week. I randomize it. I have found that parents are not just hearing from me because it is a negative call, but can look forward to just hearing from me what is going on!

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  70. I give all my parents my email address so that they can contact me. They can also contact me by phone while I am at school. I am planning to send home a weekly homework/newsletter this year. I love your ideas. Thanks

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  71. I give my email and school phone number to every parent. I try to return all calls and emails the same day I receive them. I love the idea of a weekly newsletter/homework assignment sheet and plan to try that this year.

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  72. I like to send home a weekly newsletter!

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  73. I love all these ideas! I use the VistaPrint business cards that have my email, school contact info, etc on them, and also use Remind101 regularly to keep my parents updated about due dates and upcoming tests and events. We also use Jupiter Grades as our online grade book and report card, and that offers a great parent notification for discipline reports. This way they are on file for the office and emailed home. I personally also use Class Dojo and their parent notification as well. We send regular newsletters home as well. Love all your ideas!

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  74. Each of my students has a B.E.E Binder (Bring Everything Everyday). It has a place for hw, lunch money, my personal information, class schedule, important class notes, and a communication log between parents and the teacher. I have used it for 2 years now and both my parents and I love it!

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  75. I love your weekly communication letter. My colleagues and I have been looking for something like this. Thanks for your great ideas.

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  76. I do many things to communicate with my parents. I do Friday Folders, newsletters, a class website, positive phone calls, notes home, so on. :)

    Tammy DeShaw, The Owl Teacher

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  77. I love all these ideas. I also send home a weekly behavior report and include positive comments. My students really love these, and their parents appreciate being kept informed.

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  78. I use an app called "Remind" that allows me to send out a blast to remind parents of upcoming events, tests, or items needed in the classroom to either the parent's phone or e-mail.

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  79. Weekly newsletters and text messages from Remind. Thanks for all your great ideas!

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  80. Our school does a monthly newsletter, and I also send home a weekly newsletter (I am a special ed teacher, so my students get newsletters from their homeroom teachers and me). We also have our Back to School Night and our Meet and Greet the day before school starts.

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  81. I send weekly newsletters with upcoming information. Students also use daily planners for homework and any teacher/parent communication as needed. As a big fan of "snail mail," my absolute favorite is to write little notes for students to find on their desks in the morning or after they come in from a special. Sometimes I will mail them home also. I try to be as specific as possible so that students know that I love and appreciate their efforts. I try to write to at least 3 students a week. The notes are intended to encourage the students themselves, but of course, they often bring them home to show Mom and Dad.

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  82. Last year we tried to utilize our planners to keep parents informed...this year I am looking to add a class website & remind101

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  83. I used Remind 101 this year to send free text messages to parents concerning nightly homework and any special events. Parents without text service can receive the same reminder via email. It's free and does not use the teacher's personal email or cell phone number. I loved it!

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  84. I always visit my first and second graders before we start our program and also hold the open house before our first day. Then I use take home folders and weekly newsletters to stay in touch.

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  85. I have a classroom Facebook page and a group email that I send out.

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  86. This will be my first year in my own classroom, but as a long-term substitute, I sent home and/or blogged weekly newsletters, sent "good news" emails on a regular basis, and invited parents into the classroom. I plan to do all of those things again this year. I will also be using the magnet idea. Thanks!

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  87. I plan on using remindme to remind my parents of upcoming meetings.

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  88. parent communication binders or notebooks at least 1-5x a week. i want to do a bi-weekly or monthly newsletter this year as well.

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  89. Our school does a weekly newsletter that we modify for each teacher/grade level. each student has an agenda that can also be used as a communication tool. Next year I want to use RemindMe since many parents like text messaging.

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  90. We do a weekly newsletter and I am an absolute nut about using email!

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  91. This is one that I haven't tried yet but there's an app called Remind 101 where it sends messages to parents.

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  92. Last year was SO hard, but I have a weekly conduct that goes home on Friday/comes back Monday. I am going to try a couple of new things this year like email and maybe Remind 101.

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  93. We send home a weekly conduct report (star cards) as well as a monthly newsletter that addresses each content area. Each quarter, our county sends home information on the reading and math curriculum.

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  94. I had a weekly behavior sheet that went home on Mondays so it couldn't get lost over the weekend.

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  95. Weekly newsletters and behavior logs!

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  96. I send out a weekly newsletter with important information in it,

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  97. I use Remind and lots of emails.

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  98. Great information!! I try to have good communication with take home folders, weekly positive calls, and special notes about their child.

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  99. I absolutely love the magnet idea! I am definitely utilizing that this year! I currently use a website and Google Voice to keep in touch with parents. :)

    The Spunky Teaching Monkey

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  100. Remind 101, monthly newsletters, weekly homework, daily conduct reports as needed.

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  101. I send home a newsletter weekly with objectives we are covering, a monthly calendar or upcoming events/test, and a star students of the week.

    Adrienne
    Having Class

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  102. I use remind to keep parents informed and I use Class Dojo for behavior and parents receive messages weekly. In addition I call too.

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  103. I send a weekly newsletter home with important dates, wish list, objective, field trip, info, etc.

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  104. Thanks so much for the awesome reminder of building great communication with parents from the start!!

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  105. I use class dojo and invite parents via email, a weekly newsletter, and I keep an up to date phone record of all the students phone numbers. I just try to make myself very available for my parents.

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  106. Our school requires we send out newsletters at least once a month but I try to make it a habit to do them weekly. I give updates on big projects, include a picture, and try to add in random tips for home like ways to try our games/activities with the families or questions they can ask their kids to prompt conversations about school. I also make sure to list books and authors we are reading and recommend similar ones for home (I check the local library to make sure they have them to check out). The parents love the weekly peek into their child's preschool and it also helps me reflect a lot.
    Kayla
    The Chalkboard Garden

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  107. Newsletters twice a month is all that I do. I call parents or speak with parents if I need to. We also have a space in the daily folders to write a quick note, if needed.

    Ms. King's Kinders

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  108. I'm initiating and replying to individuals by email every day as needed and I send email newsletters weekly.I have a Weebly website and use its blog app almost every day to post photos of our activities.

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  109. I have a classroom Facebook page because all of my parents check Facebook often! I also write back and forth through email on a daily basis.

    Vanessa Bos

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  110. I have a classroom google sites webpage that I use to keep parents informed! LOVE it!!!

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  111. I use weekly newsletters, Remind, personal e-mails, and old-fashioned phone calls.

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  112. Love the ideas. Thanks for posting

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  113. As a grade, we send out a monthly newsletter with the goals for the unit, upcoming events etc. We also invite parents into our classroom once a month to have them learn a reading or math activity. They practice the activity with their child in the classroom :)

    --jen

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  114. We use an online newsletter called Parents Make a Difference. Here is the website http://www.parent-institute.com

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  115. I send out a weekly newsletter, and students have binders with a home/school communication section in the back where parents and I can write notes to each other.

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  116. I send out a weekly newsletter. For updates and reminders I have used Remind101.

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  117. Weekly newsletters, daily sheets, texts, emails, phone calls...whatever it takes! I teach a group of K-2 students with Autism, and some are nonverbal, so my communication is essential. Parent's can't ask their child "How was your day?" and get a response a lot of times.

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  118. I send out weekly newsletters to keep parents informed. I also use Remind 101 to remind parents of important events. I have a daily behavior chart that I ask parents to initial. I also have a classroom blog that they can follow for up to date information.
    Lisa

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  119. I'm going to try a new app that I found called class messenger this school year.

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  120. Melissa MartinezJuly 28, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    I have a newsletter I send home weekly. I am also going to try Remind101 this year.

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  121. I have a website that I update each with what we'll be doing in class that week as well as spelling lists. I've tried texting services, but I didn't have any parents interested. Sad, really. I also use a daily agenda where I require a parent signature. They can jot me notes and vice-versa. Works well, but I am always looking for new ideas. Love your blog & have been 'stalking' it for quite some time. You're ideas have been very helpful to me! -Alisa

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  122. I use "Remind 101" to send parents reminders about permission slips, class parties, upcoming tests, etc.

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  123. I also use edmodo to communicate with parents..esp with videos to re-teach the math lesson of the day!!

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  124. I send home class newsletters and emails. We write in our planners daily about something we did that day and I have a class website.

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  125. My students and I use a classroom blog to keep parents informed of our daily activities and upcoming news. I also try to make 2 phone calls or emails each week just to tell parents about the good things their kids are doing.

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  126. i have a blog which the students help me update daily. it includes everything the kids and their parents need to know.

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  127. I use Remind101. Great tool to quickly get out an announcement.

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  128. I am a virtual teacher so I'm learning to adapt ideas out there from teaching in a brick and mortar class to the online world for my class. One thing I use to help keep me organized is OneNote from Microsoft. Love it!

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  129. Besides newsletter and webpages I use Google voice where they can hear a pre-recorded message. Also in my district we have connect-ed where we can send voice mail messages to parents.

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  130. I use my website created through Weebly to keep parents informed and to communicate important events, homework updates, etc. I like how I can now link up a google account to it so that I can change my google calendar and it automatically changes it on my website!
    Kelli
    Tales of a Teacher

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  131. Daily Behavior Logs with a weekly newsletter. The occasional phone call or walk student, hand in hand to the car. Email and text messaging. I'm not quite brave enough to try a class website or blog.

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  132. I use our classroom webpage through weebly, parent vue through our online gradebook, weekly classroom newsletter and this year I'm planning to set up a private class instagram account for reminders and daily photos and such.

    Melissa
    Wild About Fifth

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  133. We use a facebook group, remind, and a monthly newsletter.

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  134. I have a Parent Handbook and last year I had students create a weekly newspaper to keep parents informed of our weekly goings-on.

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  135. My grade level team sends out monthly newsletters. I am trying remind 101 this year, too.

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  136. I make frequent calls home, and I send newsletters to try to keep parents or guardians informed.

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  137. I have used a classroom website, emails, and phone calls. I am in a new school which is mostly Hispanic, so I need to adjust and figure out how I might communicate with mostly Spanish speaking parents and also homes with no computers.

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  138. I am planning to use Remind 101 this year. I also use email A LOT and I communicate through student agendas.

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  139. I used Class Dojo last year, but I don't think my parents understood it well enough. I am going to use Celly this year to text with parents. I also have Teacher To The Core's Hey You! Reminders that I have ready to go when I need a reminder to send home.

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  140. I use a class Facebook page, emails, and a newsletter!

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  141. I use my website to communicate with my parents every week. I update it once a week with everything that is going on in our classroom and I send an e-mail with a link to the website. That way there's no excuse for not checking the website.

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  142. Weekly test/data folder and daily behavior calendar; I would like to revamp my methods for this year!

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  143. Weekly Newsletter and daily behavior calendar. I love your ideas they are perfect. Thank you for sharing them.

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  144. I send home behavior reports and work folders every two weeks.

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  145. I am lucky in that our school purchases agendas. Not only is it a wonderful tool to teach kiddos to be responsible in writing their "stuff" down, it also serves as a wonderful communication piece with parents!

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  146. I send home a daily behavior chart, weekly news letter

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  147. I keep parents informed through email. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  148. I have a classroom website on Shutterfly and send home weekly notes similar to yours.

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  149. I do the business card magnet, too! Our school purchases agendas for us that are good communication tools with parents, when they are looked at. I was interested in using Remind or even an Instagram but am unsure what the parent response would be. For teachers who use Instagram to communicate with parents, I'm assuming you create a separate one from your personal one? It's not that there is sketchy stuff on my personal one, it's just that there are pics of my kids on there, or the occasional glass of wine, etc., and I don't really want to share that with parents. I love it when I receive emails from parents, it's much quicker and easier for me to respond instead of phone calls, so I encourage that when meeting the parents. Thanks for all of your ideas! Have a great school year! :)

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  150. I've found sending notes home bi-weekly help to keep parents up-to-date. I love also giving phone calls home.

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  151. I keep parents informed through email and my website. Thanks!

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  152. I communicate with parents through my classroom website, newsletters, emails, chats in the hallway and any other way I can!
    Thanks for all your great ideas!
    Sidney
    Teachingisagift

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  153. I communicate with parents through email, my blog, and the student planners.

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  154. I always make a positive phone call home the first couple of days of school. jaglanzer@yahoo.com

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  155. I teach at a private school. The parents have my cell phone number, email address, and see me every day when they pick up their child. I also send a newsletter home every week.

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  156. I use an online grading website called engrade.com and send email updates to all families once a week as my newsletter

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  157. I print out post cards on card stock and make a point of sending at least one a week to a student's parents with positive feedback!

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  158. Candace BohachicJuly 29, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    I usually do phone calls at least once a week. I send behavior notes home. This year I hope to use class dojo and print out reports to send home every Friday.

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  159. I post daily using our school website homework, classroom activities, volunteer openings, field trips, pictures of school events and classroom events (especially for those parents who can not attend because of work). One to one communication goes through email, note (in envelope), or phone call.

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  160. I send a weekly newsletter home on Fridays, also an email with the newsletter attached. Last year I also started using Remind and my parents LOVED it! So did I. Shared it with the rest of our staff and more plan to use it this year.

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  161. I have a blog that I keep homework links, calendar items, etc. for parents, I use email, and I may begin using Facebook/Twitter. For more personal information, I use the phone and/or email.

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  162. We send home a weekly folder with that prior week's conduct grade, graded papers, and notes for parents. We also keep our website updated with everything parents need to know.

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  163. I have done newsletters and a weekly wrap up that includes grades and behavior
    Karen
    tommysmom0206@yahoo.com

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  164. I love the magnet idea! My easiest form of communication is group emails. I also send bi-weekly newsletters home in their graded paper folders.

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  165. When I update my blog or send parents a weekly update, I leave a random "treasure hunt" item in it....something like "Email Miss Straus by tomorrow and your child gets...." It could be a pass, initials on the behavior board. The parents look for it. Sometimes I have something there and sometimes I don't.

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  166. I call each parent at the end of the first week to discuss their child's first week and see if they have any questions for me thus far. I send home newsletters each month. The students are required to keep agendas and I use them for messaging, positive affirmations and behavior updates.

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  167. I have a Wiki page that I update daily, and I keep a file box of postcards on my desk. At the beginning of each term, I teach (and then reteach) students how to address an envelope using the postcards, and then I try to send one with a POSITIVE note home each term. I know when I've reached a parent because that student's card is no longer in my box: )

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  168. We send home a weekly newsletter with all upcoming events and what we will be learning in each subject. The daily homework for each subject is also on the newsletter.

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  169. This will be my first year teaching. I plan on using Remind 101 as well as monthly newsletters. Thanks for all of the tips!

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  170. I use Class Dojo. It's an awesome FREE website and app for recording students behavior. I love the reports for discussing behaviors with parents.

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  171. I've used a variety of methods for parent communication; print grade book bi-weekly, quarterly newsletter, parent letters prior to tests, email updates.

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  172. The magnets are a great idea and I am going to definitely use them this year. We send home weekly news letters, daily notes in agendas, make at least three positive phone calls a week ( for those positive drops in the bucket), and rewards sent home!! Blogs are such a great way to share ideas!!

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  173. I use Class Dojo and my class blog to keep parents informed. :)

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  174. I teach kindergarten, and when I need to send home a reminder about milk money, forms, etc. I put a brightly colored paper bracelet with the information around that student's wrist.

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  175. I send a lot of emails! I work at a Title 1 campus so many of my student's parents work jobs with irregular schedules so phone calls result in a ton of voice mails which results in lots of rounds of phone tag! My school also uses yellow communication folders that are sent home on Fridays and are to be emptied out and brought back on Monday, signed by a parent or guardian. We use ClassDojo too, but not all of my parents have an Internet connection to be able to see what their child lost or earned points for.

    -Lindsey
    The Texas Teacher
    http://thetexasteacher14.blogspot.com/

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  176. I would love to do a weekly newsletter this year and I have also been contemplating a video newsletter a couple times a month... I could start them off and my kids could take over. I'm sure I will have to jump through a million privacy hoops to make that happen, but I will see what I can do!

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  177. I am a 6th grade teacher and see 120 students in a day. It is extremely difficult to communicate with the parents often! I send weekly or biweekly emails to all the parents, and probably every day am sending about 5-10 individual e-mails to update parents on missing work, struggling students, or behavior issues.

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  178. Letters, phone calls and emails. I have even sat in the hall and stopped parents with information during parent teacher conferences. (I am a special class teacher).

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  179. I do the magnets and a class website. I have been doing this for about eight years now and it truly is so helpful! What a great giveaway, thanks!
    Alison
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

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  180. The "circle and check" report will definitely make it a lot easier to send home weekly or biweekly reports. Plan to use it this year!

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  181. I have used your weekly communication papers in the past (when I taught 5th). I use Class Dojo and send home weekly reports. I've had students run a blog. And the Remind app is great, too!

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  182. We posted a weekly newsletter last year, but I think this year I'm going to have a classroom blog. I also let my parents know that I'm willing to meet with them whenever is best for them (and what fits into my schedule).

    Sara
    Miss V's Busy Bees
    ventrellasara@gmail.com

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  183. One of the things I have done and will TRY to do better this year is a weekly mass email along with my classroom website. I think when parents expect an update and we can do it on a regular schedule than the communication will become easier.

    Bagby
    Get Your Science on in Room 701

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  184. I set up an email list with all the parents' emails and send a weekly update in that manner - anyone with no email can receive a hard copy, but when they realize everyone else is on email, they usually find a way to get email! Works wonders :)

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  185. Weekly newsletter. I send home a paper copy and post it on our class website each week!
    Keep Calm and Teach On

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  186. Keeping in touch with parents IS one of the hardest things! Thank you for the tips!

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  187. I use Remind 101 to keep parents up-to-date on classroom things; and emails for newsletters!

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  188. Thanks for the brainstorm bubble! I can't wait to use it!

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  189. I use several methods.
    ---Mass emails. I have parents' emails in a folder. I type the title of the contact folder and out goes the email. Thus, I not stuck typing 32 email address each time. This tool is handy for reminders such as field trips.
    ---Website. I keep my homework, websites, files, and anything else that will be useful.
    --- Paper Memos. I do occasionally send them out or parent does not have access to electronic media.
    ----Student Planners

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  190. weekly newsletters :) Thanks for the giveaway!

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  191. I send a weekly quiz and test schedule. I also have a class website that I update (mostly) daily. For incidentals that come up, I use Remind101.

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