Free Spirit News

My students love to share what they are exploring in school with their families. Each month, the students create a collaborative newsletter. We do this together in class and it’s an awesome way to wrap up a unit of study.

First, we make a giant copy of our newsletter. The students come up with the main topic of our newsletter and what they would like to share with our “audience.” The topic usually connects with the inquiries that we are researching in class. The students design the newsletter and create all of the illustrations.

Below is a picture of our first “Free Spirit News” draft from November! The students wanted to send home an “All About Us” newsletter.


Finished copy! The artwork the students created is stunning, isn’t it?


To create the final product, I take pictures of the student’s work to document it. I bring the photos home and finish the newsletter on my computer. I type the student’s writing in case their words don’t show up and to fix any mistakes for parents as they read.

I don’t have a student computer. If I did, I would have my students take turns typing up the newsletter and it would be a perfect opportunity to teach them how to use publishing tools.

There are so many amazing skills that can be worked on when creating a classroom newsletter!

Here are some “process” photographs…

And the finished copy that was sent home with parents!


Newsletters serve as a formative assessment and allow me to really assess what the students have learned from our inquiries. It’s so interesting to see what concepts “stick” with each child.

I’d love to hear the ways you document learning in your classrooms and any more ideas you have about incorporating NEWSLETTERS!

With much heart,


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