Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Friendly Letter Organzier

Having some picture quality issues.  I don't like blurry pictures! If anyone else has had this issue...please share how you fixed it...thanks!   My guess is it's something with Blogspot...maybe a setting?
One topic our 2nd and 3rd graders are both covering at the moment is what a friendly letter is and how to write it.  We already explored with writing a letter when we wrote to a couple other homeschooling families... so this isn't a new concept for them...but it was a more formal lesson. 
One thing that I find about K12 curriculum, is that there is much that is being assumed that my students already know.  However, though K12's curriculum seems different than what our local school implements...it's different in a good way.  They cover quite a bit!  One thing I enjoy about it is that topics are covered more than one year in a row...just the older the student is...the more detail they go in (or less if it's a review lesson).   So, what I'm finding is that in somethings (such as writing a friendly letter) the 3rd grader really needs the 2nd grade lessons.  :-)  Not because of the 3rd grader herself...but because she just hasn't had any introduction to the topic.  So another benefit to having multiple age groups (grade 1-4) here is that when I see that a child doesn't really have the background knowledge necessary to really "get" their own lesson...I can slip back and use the grade before...it's all here somewhere!  :-)  So that's just what I'm doing.  The 2nd graders get step by step details about what a friendly letter is, the parts of the letter, how to write and revise a letter, address the envelope and etc.  The 3rd grade lessons pretty much assume you have already done that and they provide "review" lessons. 
So, here's what I came up with to help my 3rd grader with writing a friendly letter. 
(So there you have the blurry picture...this was saved at the highest quality...uploads crystal clear for a second and turns into this blurry image directly after ????  Any suggestions?)
This causes her to think about her audience and the purpose of her letter.  Then come up with the first sentence of the body, 3 details that support that beginning sentence and an ending sentence to sum it all up.  Then all she has to do is rewrite it nicely with heading (date/address), greeting, closing, and signature.  Organizers are so helpful to elementary aged students!  We will be using this organizer when we do our "monthly" letters to the other homeschooling families.  The children also wrote a letter to friend and family and we sent them on their way.  So exciting for them.  Letter writing is turning into a lost art.  So sad.  So much more personal than an email!  :-)  Let's get our kids back into it!  Guess I should sit down and write letters and be a good example! 
black and white copy available also in download

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