Here's the dilemma: at Open House/Back to School night, do I give out my brochure I've been doing the past 2 years or switch it up and do a flip book full of info? I've been trying to weigh the pros and cons and I just don't know. So I thought I'd take it to you and HOPE you'll give me some much needed insight.
I've seen the pins of the amazing organized and beautiful flip books. The organizer in me just ooohs and aaahs over them. There were a few reasons though that I didn't spring into action right away and make one:
- They take more paper than my current brochure.
- Formatting seems complicated- even for those that you can buy at Teachers Pay Teachers
- Along with formatting, making sure they cover my needs is another reason why I haven't boughten one on TpT
- They'll take longer to assemble
So I put the idea on the back burner, for once, trying to convince myself that my time and resources are more important than the aesthetic affect the flip books have on me.
Then, I snagged an alternative version that at least takes out (or more so lessens) a lot of the formatting concerns, for FREE none-the-less (it no longer is free, but still in Lindsey from Thriving in 3rd's TpT store.)
She took out a lot of the guess work which was nice! But my Type A came out and I still tweaked the borders and clip art to make one that might work for my needs.
These will still use more paper than my brochure, especially with the scraps that you get since you don't do any folding, but rather cutting... but I'd much rather cut and have scraps than trying to fold enough flip books for 28 kids... not happening. I tried to "save" some paper by only doing 4 flaps (which would use 3 1/2 pages of paper for each flip book).
Because I only did 4 flaps I had to be more general on the names of each tab so I came up with:
Flap 1: Contact and Communication
I thought this tab would be the one mostly used so I didn't do a cover tab + a contact tab- I just combined them.
I put my direct line, my email, and our classroom website. I also put the attendance line phone number and a little blurb stating when our classroom newsletter comes out (which is each and every Friday)
So what did I manage to squeeze on the other pages?
Flap 2: Day in the Life
I also include homework information: what daily/weekly homework they have; when it's due, etc. It's pretty broad honestly because I still don't like how I do homework in my room so it's still up in the air a bit.
Lastly, I did a little blurb on bathroom breaks and water bottles. I hate it when kids leave to get a drink. I know it's important so I obviously let them go, but I'd much rather have them have water bottles. It is so less distracting. Same thing with bathroom breaks- we have a bathroom in our classroom so this cuts out setting up "bathroom breaks."
Flap 3: Classroom Info
Also on this page is a blurb about our school folders that each student gets. I was shocked at how many parents wouldn't look at these on a regular basis. I wanted them to make sure they know how we use them and to check them often!
Flap 4: Odds and Ends
For volunteering, I simple stated I'm open to them in different capacities! I'll have an actual volunteer form for those interested to fill out so I know what kinds of volunteers I'll have.
Lastly is the field trip blurb. We can only ask for a donation- families do not have to pay. However, we found out this year that if a lot of people don't donate, our trip may not happen. This simply states that we need donations to make our field trips possible. It also talks about the need of background checks for chaperones. This year, we'll have anyone interested in chaperoning to do a background check at the beginning of the year so that we have it on record for when a field trip pops up. We had issues last year with this too.
Here is my brochure that I finagled a bit to try to fit all of this information on. Not everything fit and it looks pretty full. I could always cut something out but I'm bad at deciding. The lines don't match up perfectly when folding, but after a couple years of making brochures I've finally been able to let it go. (small victories) I print these back to back so I only use one piece of paper and folding them takes around 5 minutes. One problem with these is that they are small so they might be overlooked.
The only info from the flip book that is not included is classroom community section. It's important, but can be explained in other ways than the flip book.
So here I am back at my question: Do I go for it and make the flip books even though they will take a bit more time and paper? Is the extra information and way it's accessible more valuable to families? Will families be more likely to look at these over the brochure and keep for future use? The best way to find out will be to give it a go, but I'm not convinced yet. Thoughts??
How do you share important classroom information with your families?