Smore Pic

Have you ever created a classroom newsletter but weren’t too sure how many of the paper copies actually made it home to the parents?   Have you ever wanted to create a flyer for a school function but were on a restricted copy count? If you said yes to either, Smore is the answer you have been waiting for.

Smore is an online site where you can quickly create customized flyers.  Smore simplifies the process of newsletter creation due to their vast quantity of templates to choose from.  In addition, each template’s content, color, background, and font can all be changed to suit your needs.  Once your newsletter is complete, delivering your flyer to recipients is easy.  You can email, embed, share the link, or post to social media.  There are no limits to Smore.

CuteDragonGeneral Disclaimer: Smore.com cannot be combined with marshmallows, chocolate, or graham crackers.  In other words, Smore.com is not meant to be eaten.


Getting Started

Go to https://www.smore.com/ and click Start a new flyer.  Now you have a couple of decisions to make – Do you start from blank or choose a template?  If you choose a template, what category should you select?  My suggestion is to click on the News bulletin button because the structure of this template is easy to complete when time is a consideration. From there you will have the opportunity to select from a vast assortment backgrounds and colors.

DesignFlyer

After clicking the News bulletin button, you will be prompted to enter a Title and subtitle (if applicable).  This is a great place to have a catchy title along with date of issue.

SmoreHeading

 From there, populate each subsequent field with content.  To accomplish this, simply click each field to edit.

Before

After

Continue populating each field of the newsletter with information that helps promote your message.  At any point you can add more fields, change the order of fields, or delete unused fields as necessary.  That’s the beauty of the Smore Newsletter – it can be personalized to fit your needs.


Changing The Template

Maybe you would like a seasonal theme or an educational theme, no matter what your preference is Smore has a template right for you.  Previewing themes is super easy.  As you click on a thumbnail of a possible selection, the entire newsletter template changes so you can immediately preview it.  Change the template as many times as you would like until you get it right!

Design


 Ready to share?

First, let’s get out of editing mode.  Time to click Done Editing.

1New

Now you are ready to share this newsletter by email.  You can either send this newsletter to specific individuals or you can send an email to large groups.

2New

After successfully sending your newsletter by email, you now have the option to post your newsletter on social media, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.

4New

Simply click where you would like to post your newsletter, confirm the post, click OK.  (Note: In order to post successfully using one of the above services, you must first have an account with that site.).

Why It Matters (Teaching Rubric)

Smore is aligned with Domain 4: Collaboration and Professional Responsibilities, Competency 4.1: Collaboration with Colleagues.  Smore is also aligned with Competency 4.4: Stakeholder Engagement and Communications.

Other Similar Resources

  1. MailChimp
  2. Beautiful Email Newsletters
  3. Newsletter Generator for Gmail

Your Challenge

How could you use Smore to reach your students, parents, or colleagues with information in ways that overcome the limits of the traditional paper copy newsletter?


How to Comment

Comment login

If you are an EVSC Employee, login to the website using the Orange Login button on the menu bar.  Once logged in, return to this post and click inside the comment box and submit your comment.

If you’re not an EVSC Employee, choose one of the social media login buttons available

SHARE
Previous articleDay 29 #30DC14: Professional Learning: There’s a Chat for That!
Next articleICATS Weekly Photo Challenge- Week 18- In Motion
Daniel Watson is an eLearning Coach serving Dexter Elementary School, Glenwood Leadership Academy, Harper Elementary School, Lodge Community School, and Washington Middle School. Prior to this eLearning position, Daniel had a variety of teaching assignments ranging from 1st grade self-contained to 5th/6th grade science. Additionally, he is a Google for Education Certified Trainer.

21 COMMENTS

  1. This would be great to just update and modernize the typical beginning of the year/semester information given to kids and parents. The digital component of it is great for those parents that don’t show and want it emailed or posted online to view. I’m going to need to do the same for my sport teams to get information out and when doing so in a bunch of black and white word document pages gets dull. This really will catch more attention and allow you to structure the information in a neater way than just paragraph writing.

  2. I have messed with Smore a few times, it is a simple app to use and can do quite a bit. For newsletters, I prefer to use MailChimp. This year I have done a few eLearning Newsletters sent to the staff at my building with tips and tricks and a few links to additional resources. I found it to be quite easy to use and I really like the statistics it provides, it allows me to see who opened the e-mail, what they clicked on, etc. I prefer an eNewsletter over the traditional paper version simply because of the ability to add links to other resources and videos.

  3. One of the biggest issues with paper newsletters is that they usually don’t make it home unless you mail them–and mailing costs money and time. An email is much easier and more reliable.

    I’ve checked out Smore before. They have a variety of templates, and the site itself is easy to use. The only reservation I have is that I don’t have access to a parent email database. I could ask for an email address during my first phone call home, but I know quite a few of my students’ parents either don’t have an email address or don’t check theirs.

    Even if you don’t use Smore for parent newsletters, it could be used for committees, district newsletters, etc.

    • Their are parent emails in RDS if you were to go into each student’s account. That definitely would take some front-loading on your part. Maybe at the start of school, you could get each student’s gmail account and enter that in. Then have an incentive for viewing???

  4. Paper newsletters are not necessary unless the student doesn’t have access to online sources at home. There are still households like that. However, I do like to do as much paperless as possible. It just makes sense. I have been creating newsletters in Word and posting them to Shutterfly and emailing the to parents directly as well. I like the idea of being able to create the document online and then directly sending it to the parties concerned. This will definitely simply life and make contacting much more convenient. Thanks for sharing Smore. We need to conserve our natural resources!

    • Amen Jo!!!! I remember teaching fifth grade at Lodge where I was required to send home a weekly newsletter. At the end of the day, after dismissal, as I walked back to my classroom I would see a litany of newsletters that students had dropped on the floor. It makes sense to stay digital.

  5. I logged into Smore and I think I will really like using this program. You can add so many different things to it that you cannot add in a Word newsletter. You can send it through Facebook or almost any program. It really seems simple to use I can see the students using this also! Thanks so much for sending all of the wonderful ideas that you have sent to us over the last 30 days!

  6. I just started using SMORE while at HECC this year! Not only is it a visually engaging way to present information to others, it is very easy to use and super fun! I loved playing around with the different features and expressing my creative abilities. I shared it with a few elementary teachers and they loved it….I’m excited to see how the classroom newsletter changes as we start to shift away from paper handouts and towards digital delivery.

  7. Wow! This is exactly what I’ve been searching for! What an easy and visually exciting way to get important information in my students’ families hands. Also, I love the fact that it will cut down on paper usage. My district is trying to really cut back on paper costs, since we are a 1:1 district, and this will really help. The features on Smore look amazing and there are so many creative aspects to it. The fact that it can be shared out in so many different ways is perfect too! Now I think I can manage a decent looking newsletter without having to kill myself creatively. The best part about this is that I don’t have to find my paper newsletters strewn all over the floor and in the recycle bin after school anymore and I will be certain that parents have received them.

  8. Our E-learning coach uses SMORE to share out tech ideas. Our school sends out a monthly newsletter. To help conserve on the paper use we send out a letter asking who would like an email or paper copy. If they want an email copy they write the email they want it sent to. I like the idea of a SMORE newsletter that can include pictures instead of what we send now. Pictures add another interesting dimension that would get more people excited to open up the email and read it. Students could use to make a book review or show understanding of a concept.

  9. After admiring my E-learning coach’s weekly newsletter, I investigated Smore, created an account, and found the site easy to use. The themes and layouts are attractive, although I suspect my E-learning coach may have an upgraded version, because some of her lovely themes were nowhere to be found on my “free” account. With extensive Weebly webpages, I may not often have need of a separate newsletter, but Smore will be added to the Creativity Tools page for my students to use!

  10. I would like to use S’more newsletter for the additional events that our middle school does to promote community involvement. We have a beginning of the year Block Party in which people can play games and earn ticket to win very nice prizes. It starts the year off getting the kids, parents, and community to know teachers and principals. We have a great turnout for this but by sending out a flyer through
    s’more we could get more. We also do a can food drive right before Christmas. We know that food that is donated goes back to some of our students. With a s’more flyer, I believe we could get more cans.

    Educators do a lot more than just teach their subject matter. S’more has given us a way to promote the extras that we do at Princeton Community Middle School.

  11. I have a weekly newsletter that I use in my classroom. This is a communication tool that I have been using for a very long time. It’s a great way for me to be able to communicate with the parents and give them information about my classroom. I also post the newsletter on my Facebook page. I have never heard of Smore, but was excited to see the templates. I noticed when I signed up for Smore, that I could sign in using a Facebook page. Since I’m unfamiliar with Smore, I didn’t do that right away, but that seems like a great connection to be able to directly link your newsletter to a classroom Facebook page. I used the news bulletin template to create a sample newsletter and really liked it. It reminds me of Weebly in how you can choose a template but then drag and drop elements into a space to create the layout that you want. I also really liked the mailing list feature. It would be super easy to input my parent’s email addresses and be able to send them the newsletter via email. Another feature I liked is the “duplicate” button under saved flyers. After you take the time to set up the newsletter how you want, all you have to do is make a copy and fill in information for the week. The one thing I was trying to find is a way to change the background behind the flyer. The default (at least on mine) is some industrial structure. Upon further investigation, I found that being able to change the background is considered a premium feature and is only available in one of the paid versions. I also noticed that they will only let you download a JPEG in the premium version. I thought that was strange considering I set the newsletter to print to a PDF. I could always save my newsletter as a JPEG from that PDF.
    Since this is the last day of the challenge, I wanted to say a quick thanks to all of the iCats that took the time to find all of these great tools. I have certainly learned a lot and am looking forward to implementing several of these in my classroom. I thoroughly enjoyed the 30 Day Challenge and appreciate all of your hard work.

  12. Our E-earning coach uses S’more to keep us up to date on the many tools available for the classroom. There are so many tools that create great newsletters it is amazing. I do like the simplicity of S’more and may use it to send updates on new books, reminders about databases, lesson plan ideas for relevant standards to our faculty. The idea of using it for the first of school news to parents and students or as the daily bulletin is great too.

  13. What a great idea! I am excited to try SMORE! It completely makes sense to go digital. I love the idea to create something to share at the beginning of the year, too. Since it seems so much Weebly, I’m thrilled at the ease of use. I like the idea. My only question is about printing. I still have several parents who do not have email addresses, so a paper copy would be a .must. If you print the screen shot, how does it look? I’m going to play with that on a black and white setting just to make sure. Thank you for the new resource. I may also check out ChimpMail.

  14. Communication is key in our business and keeping parents and stakeholders up on what is going on in your classroom, team, or ECA is critical in success. My Monday Morning Missive from my E-Learning Coach is produced using Smore and always has a professional look to it. I wonder if she has a paid subscription or additional access to other backgrounds as I was limited in some of my choices. I like Smore but in my class I use other means of communication including Weebly, Twitter, and Remind. I can see using this at the beginning of the year as part of my Syllabus, Mid-Semester, and Semester End wraps up to highlight accomplishments and make aware of additional opportunities, and upcoming lessons. Over the break I’m going to work on designing some handouts for my new government students and a Shepard Academy semester in review newsletter. Smores has been added to our Creativity Page on our Weebly page.

  15. I have always sat and wondered how I could use something like Smore in my classes, and I think I have found the idea now from reading others posts. I will try to integrate it into my syllabus for parents to see as a business card link or a reminder to go to the link through Remind 101 since we can’t send paper syllabi anymore at back to school. I read the eLearning one we get every week and it seems basic enough that most parents should be able to do it.

  16. Currently they email out the daily announcements, but it is just a lot of plain text. I think using something like this would add a visual appeal to it. I like the idea of sending out my class syllabus in this format too. Our administrators are trying to encourage teachers to have better contact with parents. I think this tool would be a good start.

Leave a Reply