To create an effective writing community, you need the understanding and cooperation of your students’ parents. Send a letter home early in the year letting them know how writing works in your classroom and how they can support their writers at home.

For our young writers, it helps parents to know that all writing (even if it starts with drawing and scribbling) is to be encouraged. For our older writers, parents need to know that mistakes are a natural part of learning. As parents focus on the positives, students’ writing confidence will grow.

To help you get started, here are three options for beginning-of-the-year letters. They’re in Microsoft Word so you can save them and customize them to your individual classroom expectations.

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