Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friendly Letter Song *Freebie* And an Award

I'm Here, I'm Here!



The whistle has not been blown...nope, the whistle my colleagues provided as a practical joke {On me - I deserve it, one day I'll tell you the poop story} for my hubby has not been blown...not even once.  Why?  Because I didn't give it to him, that's why. Do you think I'm crazy?!?  Really, he's been a wonderful patient and I've gladly been helping him out.  He feels WORLD'S better...still slow moving, but he'll heal quickly...cuz that's how he rolls! {Smile}

Another thing that makes me smile is our school "Post Office".  Our third graders go to our State Capitol each year.  To earn money to defray the cost of transportation the kids, teachers and parents run a school-wide post office.  The third graders make "stamps" and the rest of the school can purchase them {Can't remember how much - but they do pay real money for them...obviously, because this is how they raise the money}.  Our postal carriers are our third grade students and parents/students help sell stamps on certain days during the week.

Teachers use whatever they want as mailboxes - I use this:

I definitely use the excitement surrounding the post office to teach my kiddos how to write a friendly letter.  Talk about a real-life application giving the kids a reason and motivation for learning how to write one!

Before we even start the post office or I start teaching how to write a friendly letter, I put the mailbox outside of our classroom without telling them.  Oh my goodness...the thrill of it all.  That first kid who notices it is beside themself...either because they remember it from Kindergarten or because they can't believe a real life mailbox is sitting outside of our classroom and they wonder what it's all about. 

I let the kids talk about it and wonder about it for a few days.  When they either ask about it or check to see if they are correct in their assumptions I just smile.  They know or they think they know and they can't wait!!!!

Then, one day they walk past the mailbox and I nonchalantly ask one of them to "check the mail".  I remember as a kid, back when people still WROTE letters or SENT cards how excited I was when I saw the mailman {Mr. Brown...yeah, growing up we always had the same mailman and he drove his own car down those rural routes} pull away. I'd run out to the mailbox hoping there was something in there for me!!!

I send the first letter to my kids {I don't have a copy of that at home} explaining how important it is to know how to write a letter and that they are not only going to learn how to write a friendly letter but they are also going to SEND them AND receive them from anybody and everybody around the school....gasps and cheers ensue!

I have lots of cute templates for the kids to write on, and I'll post those once we get hot and heavy into the process.  For now, I have two songs to share with you that I use early on and throughout the unit. 

Click on pictures to download your own
Clipart: Scrappin' Doodles {the pencil}

Here's what our third grade teachers created so we know each zip code for every staff member in our building. {I removed names}

I use the friendly letter songs to send home, put in their writing folders, and post by our work on writing materials. I also put them on chart paper. 

This is my first year having an interactive white board {Mimio} so I'm going to search Mimio Connect to see if there are any activities that can be used for learning about friendly letters {Like label the parts - and, if I can't find one, I might try to brave it out and create one myself}  Can't wait to add that component to our mini-unit.

And...

I received this award {Created by Mrs. Lamb!}...


From Sara over at Kindergarten is a Hoot and Kelley at Buggy for Second Grade.  Funny thing is, they think I'm their favorite follower..but truth be told, THEY are some of MY favorite followers.  Think it would be against the "rules" to give this award right back to them?!?!  Thank you girls for thinking of me.  You really made my day!!!!!

Oh goodness...have I ever told you how bad I am at making decisions outside of the classroom?  I think it's because we make, like, 500 million decisions each and every day...you should see hubby {who is also a teacher} and I try to decide on what we'll have for dinner or what restaurant we'll go to...oh, it's brutal. 

Hmmm...

After much hemmin' and hawin'....I must say two of my favorite followers {I really love you all - I mean, you follow ME...how could I not?!?!?} are:


Photobucket
Stacy @ 2nd Grade Paradise
Because she's always so appreciative, funny, light-hearted, and HELPFUL to me!!!!  That, and she's sure to post a comment which makes me a happy girl!

Another person who posts the sweetest comments and thinks I'm a good bloggy friend to HER {Little does she know that SHE'S an awesome bloggy friend to ME}...and who can't pass some love on to a fellow Michigan Girl!!!!!?


Amy @ The Resource(ful) Room
But, really, thanks to everyone who follows my blog...it really is pretty darn cool!

Holly

28 comments:

  1. NO wayyyyyyyyY!!! I am SUPER excited about this award!! Darn, too bad we can't give it right back! :) You are def. one of my very FAVE! You know I would post RIGHT NOW to do this award justice and pass it on but that would break the blogging world rules right? 2 posts in a day...and you know me and the rules....so I guess that will be tomorrow's post!

    You made my Sunday!

    Stacy
    2nd Grade Paradise

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am with Stacy...it should be coming right back to you! Thanks so much for thinking of me!! I always appreciate your comments, and love knowing that I am supporting you too! That's the reason why i love blogging! I will post tomorrow too! Us teachers like to follow the rules:)

    Amy

    ReplyDelete
  3. This post office thing is just about the cutest thing I have ever heard! Sounds like your kiddos have a blast!

    Jessica
    The Littlest Scholars

    ReplyDelete
  4. OH how fun that post office thing must be for them! Great idea. I STILL go to the mailbox hoping there is something GOOD in there for me... but no... bills and junkmail. :(
    Dragonflies in First

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love the songs! I subbed in a class that had a mailbox in it and the kids had a choice during word work to write letters to each other. At the end of the day, they delivered the letters to the desks of the students. Super cute!

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

    ReplyDelete
  6. I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about your letter writing and your mailbox. And your school's post office - that is SO COOOOOL! I love that it teaches a life skill and what a unique and awesome way to raise money!

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I need a mailbox for my room. I sure your kids love it!!

    ❀Jodi
    Fun In First

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love the school's post office! What a really cool idea!!! :)
    Glad your husband is doing well . . . and that he's being a good patient for you!
    You ARE an awesome follower!! :)
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks! Well just when I think I have design figured out it doesn't work. So I am super frustrated. I am trying to design a friend/coworkers blog for school and it is giving me fits. I am also working on a couple blog buttons for other bloggers and sometimes they are gigantic and sometimes microscopic. I'm going to have to color my hair when this is over and done with! I'd like to be able to offer my services in this area sometime in the future, if I can get these dang kinks worked out. Mostly it's just trial and error for me.

    2B Honey Bunch
    The Best Endings

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the Parts of a Letter song!
    Barbara
    Grade ONEderful

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a neat idea, a school post office!! Such a great motivator for your kids to learn to write a friendly letter correctly!

    I'm glad that your husband is having an easy recovery.

    Thanks for the freebies!
    -Megan

    First Grade Magic

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love this school wide post office idea! And the zip codes too. How cool! Glad to hear everyone is doing better in your house. Thanks for the songs! I keep being reminded to use more and more songs in my teaching.
    Jessica

    Apples and Papers

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a neat idea Holly and I hadn't heard the Letter to the tune of the Addams Family...LOVE IT!! Thanks

    ღDeAnne
    First Grade and Fabulous

    ReplyDelete
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