So in the picture above and others in this post you can see the shelf dedicated to the post office and name center materials. I love having a center dedicated to writing names/messages instead of just including it in with our writing center. Not only does this give us more spaces and opportunities to work on various types of writing, but it allows those working in the writing center to focus on book making and journal writing.
The first item that will be introduced in our post office center is the name book. I use it as our "address" book. I put a photo in of each child and include their first name and last name. The number reflects their "address" for the mail boxes they will have later in the year.
Our address book also includes our special class teachers and their mailbox number. They LOVE to write mail to the special class teachers!!!
In this photo you can see how our phase I materials are organized. Besides the usual baskets of markers, crayons and pencils we also have our magnet boards, letter magnets, name cards and mini letter tiles for working on building names. On the bottom shelf we have the additional materials devoted to the post office aspect of this center.
Lots and lots of cute stationary and cards for creating messages. My mother in law has cards from years of
hoarding collecting and will sort them by seasons for me. She also cuts the fronts off so the personal messages, etc are not included. My kids like to write messages on the backs of the front section of the cards and occasionally I will glue these onto handmade cards folded out of construction paper.
Envelopes!! Right now we are using white (boring) but I also have a collection of colored envelopes donated frequently to our school. I try to use colors that relate to the season ...red/green for Christmas, red /pink for Valentines, etc.
Our collection of "stamps." I use various stickers and almost always am able to use the various stickers that come in the mail from magazines, etc. Again, the before mentioned mother in law and my own mother save these for me. They get TONS of junk mail but I put it to good use! =)
Now this is where I start implementing our procedures for the post office. I used to just have the kids write mail to anyone they wanted in the class by using the address book. However, the same kids would get TONS of mail and other children wouldn't get any. So my buddy Mrs. B makes envelopes with each child's name on it. When someone goes to the post office center they have to pick one envelope and write a message to that child. That ensures that everyone gets at least one piece of mail. I think we are going to try this and if it goes well the first week I'll allow them to write to one other person of their choosing the next week while they work in this center.
I also keep a sample envelope hanging up. I want the kids to see how we are going to address the envelopes in our classroom. You can see the child's name and their address number. You can also see who it is from, their address and where we put the stamp. Getting them to not decorate with the stickers and only use ONE as a stamp has always been the hardest part!
For right now the kids will just put their mail in our mail box. At the end of the day I'll deliver their mail to them during our afternoon meeting. Later as I implement phase II we will have special mail boxes that the special person will deliver the mail to each day. I also add several different letter writing activities later in the year....stay tuned!
I hope everyone has a very safe and wonderful Thanksgiving! I must stop blogging now and get busy cleaning and cooking!