We have started writing friendly letters in my second grade classroom. Once a week (or so), my students will write me a letter. They must have the five parts of a friendly letter, answer the questions they were asked, and ask anywhere from 2-5 new questions back. They are also allowed to share anything else they would like to write in their letter.
When we started, I wrote a letter to the class. It said something like:
How are you doing? I am great. I am excited to write letters back and forth with you this year. Did you know that I play soccer one day a week? What are some of your favorite things to do? I hope you write back to me soon.
Our school’s literacy coach was in my classroom teaching while I started my reading assessments. We had practiced an oral response for our letters the day before and she helped them put it into writing. Here are a few of the letters I received from my students.
For the first letter, many of them forgot to include some questions to ask back to me. Since that happened while I was out of the room, I wrote a second letter to the entire class. When the students wrote their second letters, I was able to check each one to make sure that 2-5 questions were written down. Now, I just need to carve out a few minutes each day to respond to my kiddos 🙂
There's nothing like having a real audience for a piece of writing. Lovely idea!