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Home : 2002 : Jul : 22

    penpals that move
    By Julianne

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    I've done penpals twice in a transient population. Because I teach first grade there's not a lot of actual sharing that happens between the partners. We are lucky if we can get the kids writing back and forth more than a couple of times in the course of a year. When someone moved we just replaced them with the new student that inevitably moved in. I kept a master list on my desk so I could white-out one name and add another. If we had odd numbers we would have one kid write to two, or two kids write to one. It worked with a bit of wiggling, and the kids really loved it. The other option, which I've also tried is the postcard exchange. It doesn't get a letter into the hands of individual students, but you can have you kids help compose the information you put on your postcard, and then read and organize the postcards that come in from afar. It prevents the pain of a penpal who doesn't follow through, or a teacher who is slow in returning answers.

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