Monday, October 24, 2011

Pen Pals

I received a nice surprise at school this morning, a teacher from California sent me a package with letters from her students.  She sent nine, which was perfect since I have nine students!  The teacher explained that her class was writing letters as part of a project to learn about people from other parts of the country.  I knew that this was a great writing opportunity for my class, but decided to present it to my students as something to work on independently.

With a lot of enthusiasm, I told my class about the letters and read them out loud.  My class was shocked to hear that these 5th graders have a class of 30!  After reading each letter I gave it to one of my students.  I told them they could work on writing a letter back during any extra minutes they have here and there throughout the day, or on their own time and that we would mail our responses on Friday.  On Friday, I plan to give them special stationary to use for their final copies.  My class was thrilled!  In fact, I had several students ask for detention so they could stay after school to work on their letters! Of course I told them that they could stay after anytime and they don't need detention to stay late.  Five of my students came in after school and stayed for about 20 minutes to work on their letters (completely voluntarily and this was not my idea whatsoever).  I was so pleased with their excitement, and their writing turned out very well.  I'm hoping that the students in California write back!

-Emilie

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