In order to adequately address the needs of the whole student, parental involvement and communication is critical to the success of students. I believe in reaching out to parents as early as possible to develop positive relationships. By establishing and maintaining these relationships early in the year, it is easier to handle or even prevent any issues that may arise.
If possible, I contact parents before the school year starts to introduce myself and invite students and parents to contact me with any questions or concerns they may have. I make a special effort to contact those with special needs and accommodations and discuss how I, the student, and parents can make this year a successful one. I include the syllabus and course expectations explaining the goals and expectations for students in my class (see below). In addition, it provides suggestions for how they can help their students succeed in my class like checking the class website and grades regularly for updates. Students must turn in a signed form from parents stating that they have reviewed the information about the class with their student.
Initial Parent Email
Dear students and parents,
I am so excited to have you in my Spanish 1 class! I am looking forward to a very exciting year. My goal is to provide all of my students a challenging, yet fun, experience in my classroom. Speaking Spanish is a lifelong journey, and I am excited to help you begin.
Every student will need a composition notebook, which will become their Interactive Notebook. This will be a resource that the student creates and uses throughout the course. It is very important that students keep track of their notebook and bring it every day. It is worth a significant portion of their overall grade. I cannot stress how important it is that students keep their notebooks up-to-date and do not loose them.
Because it is difficult for students to replicate the learning experiences that occur in class, attendance and participation is critical. Absences can and will set students back in relation to the class and it is difficult to catch up. For the same reason, homework will rarely be assigned. Rather, students should study from their Interactive Notebook for at least 15 minutes daily.
Attached you will find the syllabus for this course as well as a form that must be signed by parents and turned in. You may noticed that evaluations and grading for this course are very different from other courses that you have taken. Students are evaluated on what they can do, and only the final product of their skills matters. Namely, these include listening and reading comprehension as well as speaking, writing, and their citizenship in this class. You will find more information about this and the course as a whole on the syllabus and the class website. I encourage you to read these carefully so that you may become aware of my high expectations for your students. I ask that parents and students may support one another in meeting these goals and expectations including checking the class and school websites for grades, updates, and other news. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns during the year.
Jillane Baros (Profa)
Weekly Email EXAMPLE
Dear students and families,
This week in Beginning Spanish, we continued to explore the influence of Spanish in the United States and the world as well as added new vocabulary. Students learned how to:
On Friday, we had our first notebook check. Most students got excellent scores, although many learned that they needed to change, update, or add information to some pages. I will be entering these scores this weekend. Next Friday (and generally every Friday moving forward), we will have another notebook check - if students want to improve their score from yesterday’s check, they need to update their notebooks before next Friday and next week’s score will replace this week’s. This is the only time I will do this as students are still learning how to use their notebooks. After this Friday, students are responsible for the notes whether or not they are present in class. In order to help them update their notebooks, I’ve created a document that I will update as we add pages. This document is available on the class webpage - please have your students check it for any notes or handouts they might be missing.
Next week, we will focus on adding to students’ vocabularies. We’ll start off by reviewing cognates and discussing cognate patterns (Don’t know what a cognate is? Ask your student!). We will also learn the Spanish alphabet and how the vowels are pronounced. We’ll finish the week by learning 20 common words that we will use in Spanish class to give directions and describe what is happening around us.
Students will have their first quiz (Quiz 1) on Friday. It will only be over the material we’ve covered in these first two weeks (no new material from next week). There will be 20 matching questions - 10 listening and 10 reading. Rather than have students take their notebooks home to study, I’ve set up some online resources for them to use (and enjoy!):
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you or your students have questions or concerns. I do not believe I receive replies to this message, but you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.