A few weeks ago I sent my first parent newsletter to 400+ parents. The newsletter (a link and pdf) was emailed to every parent with a Spanish version as well! Next time I might try Turkish and other languages. You might think sending this monthly newsletter is time-consuming, but with Google Slides, Formmule, and Templates I’ve got this down to under 30 minutes. I’m going to share all my templates (free to copy) and tips with you below so your parent communication can be consistent, efficient, and quick! If you aren’t familiar with using Google then this might take some time investment at the beginning, but trust me learning to use Google Suites and Apps is the best teacher time and sanity saver!
Quick List of Templates
Above are snapshots of my class newsletter. Read on for instructions on how to create your own! Below is a quicklist of the free templates I’ve provided for you to copy and edit.
- Google Slides Newsletter Template by Shelly Sanchez Terrell
- Google Slides Newsletter/Magazine Template by Art is Good
- Buncee Newsletter/Template
- Option 1: Collect this information in a Google Form. You can copy and edit my template here. I’ve included instructions for parents in Spanish.
- Option 2 (Fastest option): Download your class student roster from your school’s Learning Management System (ex. Canvas, Skyward, Google Classroom, etc.). Download as a spreadsheet or CSV file then upload to Google Drive, right click, and Open as a Spreadsheet. This is the option I chose this year, because it was super quick and easy. This way I didn’t have to wait for parents to submit the information or risk some not giving me the information. Most schools have already collected this information and will provide it to you if you ask. From here you just fix the Spreadsheet to include the information you want, such as Student First Name, Parent First Name, Parent Last Name, Parent Email, etc.
Open your Google Spreadsheet and add the Formmule add-on to create a parent email template which Formmule with personalize according to your column titles and information. Formmule uses HTML so you can add links to your Newsletter. Feel free to copy and edit my Parent Formmule Email Template. The video below by Daniel Kaufman shows a tutorial for using Formmule.
Challenge: Communicate with parents regularly! Use the tips above to help you provide quick and effective parent communication.
cross posted at teacherrebootcamp.com
Shelly Terrell is a Technology and Computer teacher, education consultant, and author of books including Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom. Read more at teacherrebootcamp.com.