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third grade: penpals?
Old 10-10-2012, 11:40 AM
 
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Does anyone have their students participate in writing to penpals? Is it effective for teaching writing? If so, how did you go about finding penpals for your class? Would you do it again?

Thanks for you help.


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kermit63 kermit63 is offline
 
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:54 PM
 
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This is the first year I am not having my class write to pen pals. We are fully implementing CCSS in ELA and math and I just don't have the time to commit to writing back and forth throughout the year. We have specific units of study that must be taught within a certain amount of days. Maybe once I have wrapped my head around all that I need to do with CCSS, I'll reconsider in the future. Students loved it!
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Pen Pal feedback
Old 10-10-2012, 07:03 PM
 
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I have pen pals - I hooked up with another teacher on this board a few years ago. We touch base at the end of every summer to see if we both want to continue. We live in very different parts of the country.

I wouldn't say I use it to 'teach' writing - rather that I use it to give students practice doing authentic writing. It's more of a fun activity than a teaching one. I used to edit the drafts and go through the writing process with each one but that completely took the fun out of the whole project, so now I just let the kids write. The great thing is that if their pen pal can't read their writing or if their spelling is terrible their pen pal will usually say something about it! That's more effective than me telling them the same thing.

The other thing that's fun is that the other teacher and I always put in an activity we can do with our class. This way we both get new activities throughout the year too! Last year we each sent the other a read aloud picture book about our state. We also exchange postcards from our town and pictures of the kids.

If you're looking for a way to teach writing, this probably isn't it. If you're looking for a fun, authentic writing activity to do with your class, I'd highly recommend it.

Hope this helps.
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thanks!
Old 10-11-2012, 12:28 PM
 
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Thanks for the advice! I am going to try penpals in my classroom to give students extra writing practice. It sounds like an enriching experience.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:32 AM
 
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Have you found anyone that would like to be pen pals with your class? I have 19 students in my homeroom. I live in Georgia. Let me know if you are interested.


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penpals
Old 10-23-2012, 04:08 AM
 
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We did find a class from NY to write to, but thanks for the offer!!!
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:39 PM
 
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I would like to try it. I've never done pen pals before but think it would be fun! I have a group of 18 students. I'd like to use pen pals from the western or northern part of the USA.
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