Make a Newsletter that Parents will READ!

I've been absent from blogging for a while, my deepest apologies. Life just gets so busy sometimes, I'm sure those of you reading this have NO IDEA what I'm talking about (*wink*).

Well, just to catch you up on me...
I finished a busy year of teaching.  I also finished my dissertation and I am no Dr. Irvine.  The summer has brought time to clean, relax, travel to Vegas to learn how to better serve you teachers out there that I love creating for so much and has brought about a renewed sense in me.  I'm back and ready to bring some great things your way as we get ready to start a new school year.

So on with it, because you came to read about Newsletters!  Right?

There are some key elements to making a newsletter that will get read.  Over my many years of teaching I have had the newsletter they don't read and I have had those that they do.  I have asked myself, what makes the difference?  Is it the parents?  Is it the information?  I would say, both.  It is all in the presentation.

Think of it this way.  If you were handed an advertisement for your favorite store and it was an entire page of paragraphs, would you read it?  I mean sure, its your favorite, so you will give it a glance.  My guess is many of you would set it to the side with the intention of getting to it when you have time...which let's be real, that time never comes.  Or in the case of the newsletter it comes 30 minutes before school on the day of the spelling test.

Here are some quick tips to fix this problem and get your newsletter read!

Don't give parents multiple big blocks of information.  Do your best to keep it to just a few words and no more than a sentence or two.  Making the information quick to read, will get it read! (Which is the goal.)  If they have questions, they will ask or if you feel the need to give more information, send them to your website where you can include the full detailed information.

If you do have to give a big block of information, try to only make it on one subject per newsletter.  Make sure it is information that will benefit them in a significant way.  Such as tips to help their child or information on where they can get help with something.  Help to build trust that the newsletter is going to bring them information that will help them help their child.

Lists will get read much more quickly than a paragraph.  So don't be afraid to abbreviate information and list it out.  The quicker information gets to the point, the more likely your parents will understand it and the more likely they are to read it.

Find a template you like and stick to it.  For instance I break my information into boxes, as you can see in the picture here.

 I use the same style of template for each of my newsletters so parents instantly recognize it.  This help when it gets hidden in the backpack.  I have it with multiple layouts (of the boxes) though so I can fill out the information I need based on how many boxes I need.  Giving your newsletter a visual layout like this will allow parents to see what they need quickly.

Another tip on the visual appearance of your newsletter is to put your spelling words or vocabulary in a table to help organize them.  This also makes it easy for you to quickly change the words and not worry about how they are aligned.  Here is an example of a filled out newsletter...

 I realize this is blurry, but can you see how the information is organized?  Not a lot to the page.  It is quick to read.  Every section is titled so it is easy to see what its all about.

  *Quick printing tip...

If you don't have access to a color printer. (And you can't make friends with the school secretary and gain access...don't laugh it works for some of us...) I would recommend printing your newsletter on color paper if you have to print in black and white.  It will help parents if you make this paper the same color every time, once again it helps them find it in the abyss known as a backpack.

If you would like to save time on your newsletter and simply have a fill in the blank option.  I offer multiple themes in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  You can find ALL of my templates by clicking here.  If you would like a theme you don't see listed contact me, I create custom themes.

 Here are some examples of my latest Newsletter Template Sets...

Don't be afraid to entertain parents some.  Give them information that will enrich the lives of themselves or their child.  This could be any of the following (see how I'm using a list here? ;) )

1. Way to improve student achievement.
2. Funny Joke
3. Appropriate Meme
4. Parenting tip you read from a resource
5. Interesting fact they can talk about with their child
6. Comic strip
7. Anything that would appeal to them but be educational focused.

Use these tips and you are likely to see increased engagement with your parents when using your newsletter.

Thanks for reading!  Wishing you many reads on your newsletter this year!

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