The Post

This was a fun little craft activity that had no connection to anything except I thought it would interesting. I was reading a list of formative assessment techniques from David Wees. One of them in particular caught my eye. Write a postcard explaining how you are struggling, or three things you didn't know (could be used to ask anything really). My wife is a post nerd. She loves letters and stamps, and she loves everything postal. Especially the design, like the logos and the design of the mailboxes in different countries.

I had a couple of parents come in and volunteer to make post cards. I designed the cover to be a picture of the famous landmark in the city we live in here in Germany, the school logo, and a place for a stamp. the parents cit them all out and glued them to some card stock to make it hard and durable. I wanted them to feel real, not like some fake little flimsy piece of paper that is pretending to be a postcard. A REAL postcard.

(On a related note, I hate asking parents to do this sort of meaningless task. I like them to engage with the kids. I felt really bad, but they thought it was great fun, and they said they really didn't mind. Still, part of me really doesn't like it)

Then, I made a postbox with all the logos from all the countries of students in the class, and put it in a central location in the class. When they finish their postcard, they have to mail it by putting it in the box.

Do you know the countries of origin for these logos?

The little details make it special. It is part of our classroom now. I have given the postcard activity several times, and each time their reflections have been excellent, very detailed and very descriptive. Good thinking happening. It is a great little activity to check up for understanding.

It makes me wonder though; it I had given them a piece of paper that was standing in for a postcard, and then asked them to just put it on my desk when they are finished, would the effort be as great as it is? Do the details that make it look professional and realistic matter?

I wonder...


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