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Home : 2003 : Jul : 25

    letter center
    By Julianne

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    I've done this with k and 1 students. I make it a very structured kind of center. Students are given a range of materials they can use to write letters, plus a sample of what the envelope needs to look like. In our class they write during centers time. I have a post office set up where they can "buy" stamps, paper and envelopes. Later in the year we do away with that piece and put the stamps, etc. at the writing center.

    Rules for the center include writing positive things to others and we talk about what that might look like and why we do it. The letters must have an address AND a return address or they will not be delivered. This prevents anyone from writing a poison pen letter. Any letter that doesn't have this information goes in the dead letter office (trash can). Letters are mailed in our class letter box and a student cancels the stamps and delivers them to the kids' mailboxes. I use the stickers that come with those magazine subscription order forms as stamps because my students can't read them. If you have older students you might have to resort to stickers or go stampless.

    Having my students write letters has been a great incentive to writing in general. They love to do it and it improves their skills. This fall I hope to add a computer and printer to the writing area so they can type a letter once in a while.

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