Thank You Letter

 Mickey Combs
Second grade /Language Arts

Content Area Objectives Addressed:

 Students will be able to complete both a friendly and thank you letter using correct punctuation, capitalization, spacing, and spelling.

 

Technology Objectives Addressed:

 Students will use word processing skills to complete both a friendly and thank you letter using correct punctuation, capitalizing, spacing, and spelling.

 

Activity Description

 

What was the process that your students went through to complete this lesson?

  Initially, the students were taught the writing steps and format for a friendly letter. After that was mastered the students were taught how to write a thank you letter with the same format.  Then we completed the process with teaching how to address an envelope.

 

After they were very comfortable handwriting letters and envelopes, we then started using word processing skills.  We practiced for two weeks during our computer lab time prior to the videotaping.

 

How did you monitor student progress?

 

 I monitored the students’ progress with the observation of their writing and typing of the letters and then graded their final products.

 

Was there a template or an example that students were expected to follow? Yes

 

How much time did you dedicate to this project?

 

Total  5 hours – 2weeks

Daily ( approximate) ˝ hour

 

How was the final product presented?

 

The final product was in three parts.  They had a letter puzzle that they had to glue together with the pieces in the correct order and with correct spacing. They made an illustration to go along with their letter puzzle. Finally, they typed their letter on the computer and hand-wrote an envelope. 

 

Who was the audience for the final product?

 

The letters are for the author, Jan Brett, to thank her for sending the class a signed poster of her latest book. 

 

Learning Issues

 

What prior knowledge was required on the part of the students in order for them to be successful in this project?

  The students had to have prior knowledge of the friendly letter format, punctuation, and capitalization.  They also had to have prior knowledge of keyboarding skills, mouse skills and the ability to change font type and size in Microsoft Word.

 

 

Resource Management

 

What was the students to computer ratio?

 I have four computers in my classroom of 22 students.

 

How did you schedule your students’ computer time?

 

I had them work in partners so eight students were working at a time.  The other students were completing other portions of the project while waiting for their turn on the computer.

 

What was the location of the computers and other technology equipment used by students?

 

All the technology equipment is located against the back wall in the classroom.

 

How would you suggest beginning teachers obtain computer resources for their students? (Knowing some of your strategies would be valuable for our pre-service teachers)

 

Beginning teachers need to keep an eye out for any type of grant of extra money that may be available.  Make sure your administrators know you are interested in technology and would be willing to go the extra mile to receive equipment.  Attend every class you can.  The people you meet at classes will be a great information network that wills open doors to what is available.

Rate the level of access for students to use computers/other technologies as they needed –high, medium, low

 

In my school – very high!

 

Rate the level of supervision required for students during the project, specifically for computer and other technology use – high, medium, low

 

Initially,  the supervision needed was high.  As they became more proficient in their skills, it was more of a medium need for supervision.

Materials

 

What hardware was required for your project?

A computer and printer were the only pieces of hardware needed.

 

What software was required for your project?

  We used Microsoft Word.

 

Assessment

 

What kind of assessment did you use for this project?

I used their letter puzzle, typed letter, and envelope for their assessment.

 

What categories did you assess?(I.e.: content, screen design, depth/breadth, etc.)

 

I assessed the letters on capitalization, punctuation, centering of date and closing, indentation of letter body, complete sentences and correct spelling.

 

 

Other

 

How does the product that you submitted compare with other students’ products for this same project?

 

  The products I submitted were fairly average with the majority of the class.

 

What did you like best about this project?

  I was able to integrate basic work processing skill to reinforce and extend a critical skill for my grade level.

 

What did the students like best about this project?

 

They enjoyed practicing their keyboarding skills working with a partner, and printing their product. 

 

Rank the level of student involvement in this project – high, medium, low high.

 

Rank the level of student interest in this project – high, medium, low  high.

 

Would you teach this lesson again?

I  will definitely wrap-up my friendly/thank you letter unit with this activity in future years.