Situation — As parents, you want to know what your child does at school all day (and not just about their behavior). Unfortunately, due to the number of students in many classrooms, school staff do not always have time to provide each parent with a detailed summary of their child’s school day. In turn, school staff would like to know what the child did while at home to use during activities in the classroom (i.e., writing, communication, answering questions, etc.), but don’t know the best/easiest way to get this information. Many times, the result is that both parties (parents and teachers) end up frustrated and feeling like the other should better understand their position and be a more effective communicator.
Solution — Create a “home and school” communication page (can be laminated, for reusability) that can be completed daily by the student prior to dismissal (assistance should be provided as necessary). This communication page can be created in a specific program, such as Boardmaker, or can just as easily be created using clip art or digital photos for students who benefit from use of pictures. For students who understand written words, the communication page can be created using written or typed words. The goal is to have the student fill in the appropriate pictures or words based on the activities they did during the school day. Once the student arrives home, they can use the visual cues to answer the question “What did you do today?”. On the other side of page, you can create a communication page geared towards Home to School communication (talk with the parents and help provide them with the words/pictures they can use initially) that can be completed by the student at night before they go to bed. This allows the student to answer the question, “What did you do last night/this weekend?”. Extra pictures/words for each page can be stored in Ziploc bag with the students name on it. In my experience, this format has been successful as it allows the student to review their day/night and gives them a way to tell their parents/teachers about their activities of the day/night
Ultimately, the creation of a “school to home” and “home to school” communication system has multiple benefits. It allows parents/caregivers to receive information about their child’s day that extends beyond a behavior report and provides school staff with additional information about what type of activities the student engages in when he/she is at home. In addition to the benefits for both the parent and teacher, this type of system also creates additional communication opportunities for the student in both the home and school settings.