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3 Ways A Communication Calendar Will Build Quick and Efficient Contact with Families

communication calendars in a primary classroom

For the past 27 years I have used a communication calendar in one form or another. They have been called behavior calendars by some, but I choose to call them communication calendars. This is a way to communicate effectively and daily with my families and let them know how their child is doing.

Using a daily calendar

In our primary classrooms, making sure that notes and information reach home can be challenging. Special dates can be overlooked and information lost. A daily calendar can be a tool in providing upcoming dates and information to the families. This can also be used as a form of daily communication on how their child is doing each day. There can be a great deal of daily and weekly communication to keep families informed from holidays to picture days. Young children are not always reliable in getting the paperwork home. Having an established communication tool that travels in their binder is a way to keep the lines of communication open.

helping with student behaviors

The second reason I use the communication calendar is to share information about behaviors that may interfere with learning in the classroom. We all know that behavior is becoming more and more of an issue. When I first began teaching and we were using a variety of red light green light posters to clip charts, behaviors were worked on in the classroom unless there was a larger issue that needed to be addressed a different way.

Today behaviors have increased and parents should be and need to be kept in the loop. I share with my parents at the beginning of the year that the calendar is not meant to be punitive but rather a communication tool. I assume they want to know if their child is having a tough day. Sometimes there are reasons behind this that the parent can help me to solve, other times, they are surprised too. Either way, having this open line of communication shows the child that we are working together and we will communicate with one another.

I have set up 4 codes that cover most of the reasons we might find difficulty. Along with the code I will list a short explanation. If the behavior is something that is a one time concern, we of course move on to a new day. If, however, there is a repetition of the behavior involved, now we have a record that we can use for MTSS or other means of solving the behavior problem.

communication calendars for families

using binders to stay organized

I use binders in my classroom with folders inside to help my students stay organized. Within the binders I keep the students schedule of specials, a cardstock note card with a place for parents to write longer notes, if needed. I also include a folder to hold homework and papers that need to come back to school and the calendar is on top. Everything has a place, and students know where to place papers, keep at home side or return to school side. This helps students to organize their work.

After I pass out the homework, we turn to the calendars where students generally receive a sticker or smiley face for the day. If there is to be a note, I take a moment and speak with the child and we talk about what happened and how we can do better next time. Each day is a fresh start. This helps the children be accountable for their behavior and it allows the parent to be part of the conversation. Of course, if it is something more serious, a phone call would be made as well.

Reasons why a communication calendar is important:

  • The child knows and understands their expectations
  • Families receive daily information on their child
  • Important dates and holidays are addressed so there are fewer surprises in the schedule
communication calendar for student behavior

Use of the calendar to report behavior is one step in the process in my classroom. A note to a parent is not my only form of communication to address behavioral or discipline concerns, but it does help to create continuity and an ongoing dialogue about their child. Throughout the year we have many books that we read, discussions we have and follow up activities to build executive functioning skills, to help students become more self aware and learn to problem solve as they work with others. The calendar is used to help monitor behaviors and to communicate with families.

Families have also used the calendars to share information with me; an upcoming holiday, a day a child might miss school for a family event and so forth.

This has been a great help in my classroom saving time and emails and keeping daily communication open with my families. Families have given me positive response to this and have shared that they appreciate being involved and aware of their child’s daily activities.

I hope you find this helpful as well. Let’s have a great school year!

 

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