Pen Pals

This week, my class finished and sent off our pen pal letters to Westbury Friends School in New York. We had so much fun writing these letters, and we are anxiously awaiting replies. Before this project, most of the students didn’t know what a pen pal was, but they quickly grew excited about the idea of receiving a response via “snail mail.”

When we started writing, we began to discuss how a letter is structured and what sort of information to include. The students began writing about themselves and included information about their favorite food, animals, and sports. Some students shared how many teeth they had lost or wrote about their family members. Next, the students asked questions to help them get to know their new friend. Some asked about what life is like in New York or about their pen pal’s favorite hobby.

The students took their time to write these letters, and it was nice to see the students care so much and really put thought into them for their new friends. Next, we will be practicing the skill of patience and waiting for a reply. Kids growing up in the digital age often means they don’t have to wait for much anymore. Almost everything is just a click away. That’s great for some things, but for others it’s a problem. Writing letters with pencil and paper slows kids down. It makes what they read and write even more special. It also helps them write more thoughtfully about things that are important to them.

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Meghan Brtnik

is a classroom teacher on the K-2 team. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Meghan was a substitute teacher at an international baccalaureate school in Toronto and at the Latin School of Chicago. She graduated from York University, Toronto, with a M.Ed. at the primary/junior level and completed an additional qualification course in special education. Meghan earned a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario in honors psychology, focusing on the psychological and social foundations in human behavior. In addition, Meghan has worked in a Montessori school, tutored students individually, and lived and worked at an all-girls boarding school.
For fun, Meghan loves traveling, trying out new restaurants, exploring new neighborhoods, swimming, reading, and walking.

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