Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pen Pals

For some reason, I can remember in middle school consulting a booklet of some sort to find kids' names and addresses who were interested in being Pen Pals. Now this would have also been around the same time that I got my hands on a catalog featuring gift wrap and greeting cards that I could sell door to door while making something like 10 cents a sale... toward purchases of my own greeting cards and gift wrap, maybe even scented pencils. Talk about "You know you were born in the 70s if..."

Well, I don't remember having too much success with my own Pen Pals, but I've been really happy with those my students have made. Over the years I have been Pen Pals with friends' or relatives' classrooms across the country. This year, I am going to be Pen Pals with a teacher at our neighboring school. Many of the kids who attend the different schools actually live on the same street which was literally cut in half by our district's boundary lines. The cool thing about this partnership is that we are going to meet twice this school year. First, our Pen Pals will visit our classroom in September as we create and share a Get To Know You Lunch. We thought the Pen Pal experience might be more authentic if they have a face and introduction to go with the name. Then, in May, we will visit our Pen Pals class for a Good Bye and Good Luck Next Year Lunch.

I'm excited to incorporate Pen Pals into our writing program which already includes letter writing. Who doesn't love getting a letter in the mail? While I've always sent a postcard to each of my students at the beginning of the year, I'm going include a postcard for their birthdays and one positive postcard at some point during the year, as well. Again, I'm seeing another opportunity to share life lessons along with academic ones.

Do your students get an opportunity to personally communicate with other kids through some type of communication during the school year? How often do they "talk"?


Amanda Madden said...

We have penpals with a class in another school in our district. This is great because we can send the letters through our district courier (no expense!) We also have a "pet pal" class in another state - so much fun!

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Teaching Maddeness
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Laura Wagner Jordan said...

Love your blog! Congrats...I gave you the "Lovely Blog Award" Please stop by my blog TIPS to pick it up!
Happy Teaching,
TIPS: Teach, Inspire, and Prepare Students

Brynley said...

That's awesome, Laura, thank you!

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Jackie said...

Hi! I'm just stopping by to let you know that I'm giving you the Versatile Blogger award! Stop by my blog to read more about it! =)


Third Grade's A Charm

Jess said...

I just gave you an award. Come on over to my blog and check it out!!

From Blood to Books!

Brynley said...

Thanks so much for the awards! I'll hop on over to your blogs soon. I've been taking my July break from school thought. I'm really excited to get back into the swing of things in a couple of weeks.

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