Monday, November 5, 2012

Oregon City Pen Pals

All of my students have pen pals this term. I posted on Facebook in early September asking any and all of my teacher friends if they were interested in being pen pals with my students. I was SO happy when my friend Jacinta replied and said that she would LOVE to work it into her schedule.

Jacinta and I were inseparable in our last few years at WOU. Her and her son became like family. We did everything together. Those are some of my very favorite college memories.

 Jacinta, Sebastian and I on my first trip to Jacinta's home town, Hood River, for her birthday. 
July 2007
 Jacinta and I wrote some curriculum together during our time student teaching at WOU. 
We were selected to present our work on campus. May 2008
Jacinta and I at her wedding. August 2011

I am SO excited to be able to be pen pals with her and her class. It is a fun way to share our classroom lives and keep in touch. I sent her class the first set of pen pal letters in early October.
My students were super excited about having a new "friend" in the United States. They love the unique names and that we have to wait for the mail man. Everything about pen pals is exciting to a first grader.

Well something fun and unexpected happened today.
Our pen pal letters from Jacinta's class came! yay!

How cute is she? Seriously! Jacinta was SO thoughtful. She sent a cool Oregon photo guide so that I can show the kids where Joe and I live in the United States. She even noticed on Pinterest that I am slightly obsessed with the mustache craze and got me these fun mustache cookie cutters! But what truly made me tear up were the Reese's candy bars.

Jacinta and I were obsessed with Target in college. We would stalk the sale aisles and find fun teaching stuff or prizes for our students. Then one Easter we found that Target discounts all of the holiday themed Reese's bars the day after any holiday. We bought about a dozen bags of the Easter egg shaped Reese's bars. But here's the kicker, they were honestly like $0.38 cents a bag. Hahaha! We filled her freezer and ate on and gave away Easter candy for the rest of the year. To this day when I see a holiday shaped Reese's bar I think of Jacinta.

She also sent a cute hand written letter. The mail man came before lunch and it truly made my day! I opened a few letters to check them out. Her students did a great job. And she took all of their pictures and sent them in with the letters!

My first graders went nuts! The loved "meeting" their pen pals, and see their faces. Hubert wanted to have his picture taken with his new "friend". Of course I obliged. Then in true first grade fashion everyone else wanted a picture with their pen pal.

Amy (BIS) and Carter
Ashley (BIS) and Kiara
Hubert (BIS) and Jacqueline
Kelly (BIS) and Katie
Ben (BIS) and Alexandra
Woods (BIS) and Joaquin

This is just a few of the kids with their pen pals. All of my classes are between 4-9 students. So I have several of my classes paired up with Jacinta's class. Throughout the week as I see students I will give them their letters and have them write back.
I can't even describe how excited my students were. This is such a fun project. I am so thankful that I get to share it with Jacinta. 

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