I know how valuable parent communication is, yet, every year, the first time I meet or speak to some parents or guardians is at parent-teacher conferences. gasp!
I read a post from Caitlin at Learning Ahoy about this very topic!
To try to increase parent communication, I create a binder. I use a 1 1/2 inch, so I can keep the important documents from the school (you know the ones!) and ones that I send home. (I use another binder for my lesson plans, schedules, calendars, curriculum maps, and school memos. I have a parent email list that I keep in my lesson plan binder--that way, I don't have to carry my communication binder home.)
Back to the communication binder--one form I send home is the parent survey (or the 'Let me get to know your child' form). I modeled this one after one I found on Mrs. Walker's site. (She's frog-tastic!)
Let me get to know your child
The next two forms are ones with contact information (a colleague of mine gave me the template and I made it pretty. I'm a bit obsessed with fonts and clip art!)
The dismissal (aka the scariest part of the day) form gives me an idea of where everyone is going and with whom.
This last form is an Emergency Contact Form, which lets me know of any allergies or health issues, as well as contact information. This form is very helpful when I have to mail letters to parents and guardians, as well as plan for parties. (Peanut allergies are on the rise!)
Emergency Contact Information
I also send home 'The ABC's of 5th Grade' to outline important ideas/beliefs/rules in my classroom. (I found a bunch of examples on Proteacher!) The parents/guardians go over the information (I hope!) with their child and sign and return the tear-off. I staple the tear-off to one of the forms in that child's section. More on the ABC's later!
Time to put the kiddies to bed!