By Teachers, For Teachers
As the school year comes to a close, you may start to reflect upon the year and everyone who may have contributed to it. A great way to take those thoughts, wrap up the year, and use classroom management to help students (and parents) smoothly transition into the next school year is to write an end-of-year letter.
Parents are looking for information about how successful and engaging the year was for their child, as well as some sort of direction or guidance on what they can expect next. Here are a few classroom management tips and suggestions on how you can write an informative-yet-fun letter to parents.
The end-of-year letter should include a brief synopsis of the school year. It can include the types of things that the students learned, the projects or play that they did, any exciting field trips that they went on, or anything interesting that happened during the year. It should also include what types of the things the student should expect for the upcoming school year and how they can prepare for the next grade. Here we will take a closer look into what you can write for each topic.
For this section of the letter, you can include specific strategies the students learned, or you can discuss how you went on a field trip or how hard the students worked all year on their science projects. You can incorporate pictures of your students during the field trip or while working on their projects. This is the section of the letter where parents will read a brief overview of how engaged their child was throughout the year.
Providing information about what is to come the following year will help alleviate any stress the students or parents have about transitioning to a higher grade, especially those who will be moving up to another school. For those who are transitioning from elementary to middle school, or from middle school to high school, you should include specific dates and times on when there will be a school tour. If you don’t have that kind of information, then at least include where that information can be found.
In addition to that, you can include what students can expect to see and do the upcoming year. You can include things like what types of things they will be learning, or any instruments they may be able to play in band. You can include the types of the things parents can do with their child to make sure they have developed the skills needed for the upcoming grade.
The last section of the letter can be used for summer learning. In this section, you can stress to the parents that when they reinforce summer learning with their child, that they are providing their child with the tools and skills so they are well-equipped to handle the next school year.
You can provide students with a summer packet, or a list of age-appropriate books or websites where they can continue their learning all summer long. For the students who you think could benefit from summer enrichment classes or a tutor you should provide this information as well.
The wrapup letter may look something like this:
I cannot believe that the end of the school year is approaching so quickly. It has been a great year that has been filled with much joy and happiness. We have covered a lot of material and have gotten the opportunity to participate in many fun projects. We were lucky enough to go to the Buffalo Zoo and visit the new baby gorilla, as well as see the botanical gardens. Today’s technology allowed the students to go on virtual filed trips, reinforce learning through apps, and video-conference with students from another country. We also started to develop the skills needed for 2nd grade.
As your child gets ready for 2nd grade this summer, they can rest assure that it will be a wonderful upcoming school year. They can look forward to meeting new friends, learning how to play the recorder, learning how to write in cursive, utilizing the computers and tablets in the classroom, and going on several exciting school field trips.
As your child moves from 1st to 2nd grade, there are some very important things that you can do this summer to help them succeed. Take the time to listen to your child read and make sure that they are reading each night for at least 15 minutes. Practice their math facts so that they will be ready for 2nd-grade math. Encourage your child to write often. If you go on vacation this summer, then encourage your child to take a journal with them and write a little bit about their trip each day. This is a great way for a child to get their thoughts organized onto paper. Encourage good social skills and help them make good choices and order for themselves if you go out to eat. All of these things will help your child lead to big successes the next school year.
It has been my pleasure getting to know your child this school year. Having your parental support was an essential part of the year. I would like to personally thank each and every one of the parents, grandparents, and other family members who have taken the time to volunteer in the classroom this year. Your dedication and support has not gone unnoticed.
Thanks again for a wonderful year. Have a fantastic summer.
Sincerely, Mrs. Cox
What do you include in your end-of-year letter to parents? Do you have anything that you would add to it? Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we would love to heat your ideas.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.