A toolbox for elementary school parents

Category Archives: Communication Skills

Planners are used daily in our class as a means of communication between home and school as well as a means to teach/reinforce good organizational habits..  We are very fortunate this year to have received a grant and so the cost of our planners has been reduced to $4 from the original $8.  Please have your child bring in $4 for their planner as soon as possible.   

How YOUR CHILD will be using their Planner

Students are expected to write in their planner daily and share their planner with you nightly.  Students are given 5-15 minutes* DAILY to record their message (*depending on the length of the message).  In the planner you should find a planner message recorded in your child’s handwriting/printing that includes information about homework and upcoming events.  If there is no new news, the note in your child’s writing should read “No New News”.  If you see nothing written it is an indication that your child did not record their planner message.   In the planner there is also a month-at-a-glance calendar at the beginning of each new month.  We will be using this calendar to record important dates throughout the month (e.g., pizza/milk order due dates, test dates, field trips, PD Days, holidays and so on).

In the front pocket you will also find important newsletters, permission forms, tests and assignments, and notes from the teacher.  Please initial your child’s planner each night to communicate to me that you have seen it.  Planners will be checked daily for notes and parent initials.

How YOU can use the Planner

  1. The planner is an excellent way for you to communicate with your child’s teacher.  Notes that teachers find helpful from parents include:
    • Information about upcoming absences for appointments and so on
    • Updates on significant events in your child’s life (e.g., If something awesome is happening in their life…let us know so we can ask them about it and celebrate with them OR if something not so great has happened that you think might throw them off that day give us a heads up)…of course, what you share with us is up to you, but this sort of information helps us in understanding your child on a day-to-day basis
    • Requests for a meeting with/phone call from the teacher
  2. The planner is an excellent way for you to help your child stay organized with events in their home life.  Help your child to record information about upcoming events and activities (just like you would record them in  your own planner/smartphone/calendar/or whatever you use to stay organized).  Things that would be helpful for your child to record in their planner include:
    • Outside of school activities such as sports practice, dance class, swimming lessons, etc.
    • Birthdays and celebrations
    • Other family commitments
    • etc.

Children today need to know how to type.  Computers are a part of every day life and proper typing skills are critical.  BBC Schools has created an excellent website for children to use to learn how to type.  Don’t delay, have your child start practicing today!

Dance Mat Typing | BBC Schools

Note:  This website provides the user with instructions on how to type and where to place his/her fingers.  However, parental supervision early on and periodically is important to ensure that the user is actually keeping their hands in proper position throughout the duration of the exercises.