Writing , is really important in my classes! Writing for a purpose and addressing real people, writing for a reason, has always been crucial in my teaching!
In my classroom, there is always a letter box, where, students ,during the week, can drop a letter to me or their classmates. They are asked to write in english only, and everybody who receives a letter should reply ! We open the letter box and deliver mail, every last lesson of the week !
They look so much forward to it!
I always make sure, I have a glance at each letter before I hand it to the recipient, just to make sure it’s written in english and/or doesn’t contain any …bad language or insulting comments!
The letter box is what I also use the very first day in class,to drop my students my first letter , writing about how excited I am to be with them , my expectations, hopes, wishes and comments!
The students, are asked to reply , writing about their goals , asking me about anything they want to know, or just share their feelings! They are told that, every letter will be answered and no letter will be read in public- of course..! I want them to be free to share anything that troubles or excites them!
It’s surprising that, most of them, feel the need to share even personal stuff, fears, anxieties and even ask for advice about problems and concerns they might face!
My reply letters are short, encouraging and really positively inspired!
They are always so excited when the post box opens!
This is where they find their foreign pen friends letters, too! The one above, comes from Taiwan !
They even use the letter box , to drop the special note they are asked to complete at the end of each lesson , on a volunteer basis,about what they have learned, a question they still have or something that is still not clear to them after the lesson and needs to be explained ..
This is great feedback for me! I always answer all notes I receive!