Friday, August 14, 2009

Daily Home/School Communication

We will be using three different tools to facilitate day-to-day home/school communication in our classroom this year.  I have just finished up making changes to some of these and thought I would take a few minutes to share what we do in our classroom.

The first is a a step-by-step communicator.  Here is a link to information about it:  Staff help students to record a message about their day at the end of each day on the step-by-step.  Students then take the devise home and use it to tell their parents/family about their day.  Staff are encouraged to record messages that encourage responses like "Guess what I did today..." before putting in what they did.  Parents then record a message back the next morning and this is brought to school for us to use during morning gathering time so that students can tell each other about their evening/weekend.

The second is a PECs symbol home-school communication book that I have made with Boardmaker.  You can download "Home School Communication Bookhere if you're interested in seeing it or using it.  Note you will need to use Boardmaker to view this file.  I put a picture of the student in the large space at the front and then laminate and bind the books. In this book, staff and parents help students to record activities that they did both at home and school as well as note their general mood, how their sleep was and sharing of things they enjoyed, didn't enjoy or are proud of.  This book is again meant to encourage communication with the student both at home and at school.  Staff spend time individually with their assigned students on the information in these books rather than using them during morning gathering time.

The third daily communication tool that goes back and forth is a book that meant solely for staff and parents to convey information about their student.  I make up an individual page for each child as different informaiton is important for each student/parent.  I then just photocopy a bunch of them and put them in a duotang that goes back and forth.  Staff working with students fill out the information section and then I write a brief comment in the book.  Parents have a place in this book to write a comment back and many of them do each morning.  If you would like to see some examples of these pages, you can download them here to take a look.  Note the first one is a PDF file so you can see it the way it is intended.  The second is a word file.  If you do not have the font I used, it may not come out as clean as I made it originally.

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