With a million little things to do in the daily life of a teacher, I used to worry about keeping up communication with my students’ parents. I wanted to send a digital classroom newsletter that is easy, quick, and eye-catching!
Hopefully, you are familiar with Google Drive and even have one through your school. I can’t imagine my life without it! I’m going to give you 5 simple steps to have an organized system for your digital classroom newsletters!
- Create a New Folder in Google Drive: There is nothing worse than a messy desktop, Google Drive account, (bedroom, car… you get it). I suggest making a new folder each year and naming it with the school year. For example, “Newsletters 2019”. Simple.
- Open a New Google Slides Template: (or open the template you purchased if you went that route): I usually name my Slides document by the quarter and week of school. My first template will read Q1 Week 1 when we go back to school! This is helpful to keep them in order, although you could also name them by dates.
- Decide What to Include: Everyone likes putting different things in their newsletters, so decide what you want in yours! Personally, I like adding class updates, upcoming events, my contact information, an inspirational quote, our classroom wishlist, and sometimes photos of fun things we did that week.
Once you decide what to include, you can add text boxes by clicking the “T” which is in a box (HA) on the toolbar. Click where ever you want to add your text! I recommend giving your sections subheadings, making it easier to read. Here is a simplified version of mine from last year:
- Time to Share: There are a few important steps to take to allow your students’ parents to see your new digital classroom newsletter. You want to click the “Share” button on the top right of the window. Click “Get Shareable Link”, click “anyone with the link can edit”, “more” and click “anyone with the link can view”. This allows parents who are not on your district email (which they aren’t unless they work in district) to view your newsletter but not edit it. Finally, click “Copy Link” and paste wherever you share your newsletter! Personally, I put mine in a weekly email to parents, but it can also be shared on your teacher website.
- Make a Copy for Next Week: To set up your newsletter for the following week, all you have to do is make a copy of the one you just sent! Click File – Make a Copy – and rename it to reflect the next week. Be sure it is going to save to your “Newsletters” folder on Drive so they are all in the same place. This is going to make an exact copy of your newsletter, so you will have to delete whatever has passed or no longer applies. I include things from 1-3 weeks out, so sometimes the information is still relevant. You can do this week by week or set up many weeks at a time.
Departmentalized/Team Shared Newsletters: If you are departmentalized or create a newsletter as a team, you would absolutely benefit from a digital classroom newsletter, especially through Google Drive! When I was departmentalized, my partner teacher and I each added to our newsletter throughout the week. She added her content areas, I added mine, and we were able to share it to our lists at the same time!
I would love to hear if you already use digital newsletters, or if you plan to start! Let me know any questions you might have and I’ll be happy to help! If you are looking for a newsletter template, I have colorful ones or monthly/holiday themed templates on TPT!
Follow me on Instagram @Upupandarraykp and see my Digital Classroom Newsletter highlight section to see this in action!