Saturday, June 21, 2014

Building Writing Skills through the Mail

One of my most favorite places to find materials for my classrooms at both school and church is Lancaster Creative Reuse (LCR). If you are anywhere near the Lancaster, PA area and are creative in any capacity you MUST go to LCR. Frequently. Weekly. Daily. Hourly. I. Mean. It.

I can't list the number of great things I've found at LCR. As a Primary Montessori teacher I need to make lots of my own materials. Finding them for $0.10 is the way to go! Enter Lancaster Creative Reuse. 

Here is my most recent LCR find and re-use. 
Melissa and Doug Mail box sans doors. To the right is the chair cover we replaced. 
Who doesn't like to mail a letter? Who doesn't like to receive a letter? It happens so much less in this digital age than ever before. (Side note: After sending out my thank you's for the year I received two letters from my students. It was so GREAT to hear from them. One informed me her sister played the Opera at FULL BLAST and another sent a post card from vacation informing me he caught a shark!) 

When I saw this great mail box (although not in perfect condition) at LCR I just couldn't resist. For $4 I figured I could make it work somehow. 

With a little ingenuity (AKA sewing skills and velcro) I added a little 'mail bag' to the mailbox. The bag was made from our discarded IKEA chair cover. It's a re-use and re-use type project!

I then returned to LCR and found some inexpensive envelopes and notepad for writing and 'sending' letters. On Saturday's garage sale extravaganza I found the writing center container and wooden pencil holder. One of the things I learned in my Montessori training was to look for the 'Point of Interest' in a material. So in this particular lesson the point of interest ( or points in this case) is the opening of the pencil case and the slots for the mail.

Of course, this work requires that one of our classroom jobs be 'mailperson.' That job will require one child to empty the 'mail' each day and deliver the 'mail' to the proper student. 

I anticipate this to be a very popular work next year. 

Learning objectives? 

  • handwriting
  • motor coordination
  • responsibility (for the child who is the 'mailperson')
  • writing communicates information to others
  • on, and on, and on.......
Now for a trip to my classroom to get this stuff out of my little house.......

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