Communicating with parents is key to a successful school year. Eric and I both make sure to communicate with parents on a frequent basis.
Before school starts, we send a letter home to parents welcoming them to our classrooms. In the letter we discuss our enthusiasm to teach their child, and some of our goals for the year.
When the students arrive the first week, we also gather parent email addresses (as most have email accounts) and use that as a form of communication throughout the year. We send out paper copies to those that do not have an email address. We have found email to be a quick and effective way to communicate with parents about: upcoming events, work that is due, scheduled quizzes/tests, and any other important news. This keeps parents informed and makes it easier for them to talk to their children at home about what has happened in school.
With each subject we send notes to parents about: what we are studying, ways to help their children at home, and resources they can use outside of the school setting. Parents have loved the open communication when it comes to curriculum.
The bond that you can establish with the parents of the students you teach can be the difference between the student just getting by, or excelling in your classroom. We strive to have open communication with our parents and believe it goes a long way in the success of the students we teach.