Sunday, March 22, 2015

Penpal letter writing

Learning to write is one of the most challenging parts of kindergarten. It requires lots of literacy skills, including planning out what you want to write, separating one word from another, stretching out the word and figuring out what letters to write for each sound in the word, and also remembering to leave spaces and form letters correctly and use legible handwriting!

It's a lot for a little learner to take on. I am always looking for authentic writing experiences for our kindergarteners, so they can have a purpose for why they are writing. For the past few months we have been lucky enough to pair up with a high school in Milwaukee, whose sophomore English class have become our penpals! It's a really awesome experience - the kindergarteners are fascinated by receiving letters from TEENAGERS, and they spend so much careful time writing and drawing letters to them. On the flip side, the English teacher (who is a friend of mine) says her high schoolers are ecstatic when they receive letters from the kindergarteners in the mail, and they respond with kind letters and detailed drawings.

It's a very cool experience of writing with purpose, and getting to know another community of learners. We are trying to arrange for the high school class to visit our classroom, but details are still up in the air.

Here are a few pictures of the letters we received, plus the ones we wrote back!

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