Alright my friends . . . the time is RIGHT NOW! Sign ups for the 4th Annual Pen Pal Pair Up have officially begun and is now over :(. We are full at this time. Thank you so much for your interest. I will be hosting again next year – please try me again in 2016!
You may have seen random notes popping up on Insta, FB, and my blog throughout the past few weeks and thought . . . “What in the word is she blabbing on and on about. (I wouldn’t blame you as I am quite the talker and I have been a bit vague.) With this said, let me shed a little light on the subject and let you in on the details of a fun event that I host every year.
For years I wanted to start up pen pals in my classroom. Not only is it the most authentic friendly letter writing practice possible, but it opens the door to so many different content areas! Well, I didn’t know where to begin and finding a partner always seemed so daunting. Well, that changed for me when a friend approached ME about pairing up our classrooms. She made things SO easy and my kids loved getting letters from their cool MD pals. After experiencing this, I just had to pay it forward . . . I started the Pair Up that same year.
Now that you have a little better picture of what I am offering up, you can make the choice to keep reading or bail now 🙂 However, if you are ready to jump in and become a COMMITTED pen pal for the upcoming school year, simply click on the Pair Up link below and fill out the Google Doc form ASAP.
Once the submission deadline passes, I will work hard to provide you with the best possible pen pal pair up (it takes me a few weeks to get through the list). I will contact you directly with your pen pal’s info as soon as I have most of the list compiled. One quick disclaimer here . . . unfortunately, I cannot make the teacher that I paired you up with follow through. (((SIGH))) I would guess that about 5-10% of the matches end up imploding due to lack of interest. This makes me sad as I spend HOURS on this and the other teacher is counting on follow through. However, I will be crossing my fingers and toes that I made a lucky match when I reached your name!
On that note, what are you waiting for? Go on . . . sign up already! I’d love to help you find a partner.
Before I jet, I have had a few questions over the years. Here are a few that come to mind as I am typing. Figured I might as well toss ’em out and save you the step of having to email me.
- How does it work with Kinders? I suggest doing this shared writing style. Write letters as a class on large chart paper and send them this way. You can switch to individual letters later in the year if your babes are up for the challenge.
- Which grades do you pair? I mostly pair grades K-5. However, I have paired up some middle school classes in the past. My thought here is sign up. I am not promising anything outside of 5th grade, but I sure as heck will try for you 🙂
- Do you pair overseas classrooms? Yes. If you want an overseas pen pal, there is a place to note this on the Google Form.
- Do you pair special education classes? Yes. I always get a handful of SPED classes and it usually works out. No promises here either, but these pairing have great odds.
- When will we get our match? I have to match everyone and that takes me at least a couple of 4-5 hour sessions. I will start rolling out the match emails within a week or so and will be done by August 19th (my first day of school . . . GULP).
- I have multiple classrooms . . . what do I do? Just note this on the form in the final question. I don’t always get all of your classes matched, but I will try my best.
- Do you match duel language classes? Yes. These are tricky though . . . I won’t lie here. I have about a 50% success rate on these. However, what does it hurt to toss your name in there? Sign up, note it in the last question and I will see what I can do for you.
|Here’s a picture of my process.
It’s probably not the most efficient system, but it works for me.
I cut the spreadsheet apart and group by grade and sort by class size.
Numbers that are semi close and in different states get connected 🙂