Digital Newsletters Made Easy with Smilebox

10 August 2016 / 5 comments

I adore the start of each new school year.  The classroom is refreshed, a new group of students are raring to learn, routines get tweaked, teachers are re-inspired, and ideas are overflowing from different professional development opportunities that transpire during the summer months.  While all new things is not a reality, it is the perfect time to try new ideas.

A few years ago my instructional team decided that we wanted to re-vamp our newsletter and make parents excited to both receive AND read it.  By 6th grade, parents can feel disconnected from school, and we wanted to find a tool that...
  • made them feel connected to their child's learning.
  • gave them a bird's eye view of students at work.
  • kept them up-to-date on school events.
  • didn't waste paper.

Did you know that there is a FREE digital newsletter that lets you do all of these things?  It is Smilebox's Teacher's Toolbox and you can get a premium membership for FREE as a classroom teacher.

Click play to watch, then follow the quick steps to create your own account and start making awesome FREE digital and printable newsletters.

Click to play this Smilebox newsletter

STEP #1:
  • Click on this link: Smilebox's Teacher's Toolbox
  • Sign up for a free account.
  • They will send you an email with the code and download information shown in the image below.  I received mine in less than 8 hours. 

STEP #2:   
  • Enter your code and follow the directions to download Smilebox to your computer.  

STEP #3:
  • Click on the Teacher's Toolbox to find newsletters and other slideshow tools for your classroom. 
  • While you will use this for a million other things, I am walking you through the newsletter.

Step #4:
  • Click on the Newsletter Image to begin creating your classroom newsletter.
Step #5:
  • Upload any photos or videos and add the information and images you want to share with parents.
  • You can add music, change colors to match your school or classroom theme, and determine how many images you want to add.  (The more the better!)

 Step #6:
  • Finalize and preview your design.  
  • You can import your parent email list and send it (you can even delay your email)
  • Add your newsletter to your parent/class FB group or to your class blog
  • You can print it as well, but my team was always trying to save paper.

You are finished!  I always play the newsletter for the students on Thursdays, the day it is sent out to parents, so they can reflect on their learning, and, most importantly, see who got featured in the newsletter images.  They LOVE it!  

All of your newsletter and other slideshow creations will be saved in the MY CREATIONS tab, so you can always go back and revisit or re-send a newsletter that a parent needs.  You can also begin creating, save, and come back to it at a more convenient time.

If you are struggling with this component of your parent communication, give this a try.  It is the perfect tool to take some stress away from a weekly routine.

All the best this year!


  1. Thanks! I'm going to give it a whirl, too.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this great resource! And the step by step directions to use. It looks rather easy.

  3. I had no idea this was available. Thank you, Erin!

  4. I had no idea this was available. Thank you, Erin!


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