Universal Letter Writing Week
I started this tradition during my first year of teaching. I was researching ideas for student council when I came across the fact that the second week of January is Universal Letter Writing Week. I excitedly began envisioning tables set up in the hall with letter writing materials. My student council kids were not impressed with the idea. So, I decided I would make it happen in my classroom instead.
This has taken different forms in different years. Some years, we've written a letter each day as a warm-up activity. This year, I gave them the task to write three letters on a single day (and a quiz, too)! The first letter they wrote was to a teacher in our building. The second letter they wrote had to be to someone who works in our school that is not a teacher. And, the third letter could be to anyone they wanted. Some wrote letters to friends, family members, or another teacher off the list. I intentionally did not put my name on the list of teachers students could write to, so three students chose to write me a letter as their third choice. I thought that was very sweet!
The best part about letter writing is the origami envelope that we fold the letters in to. This makes the letters stack really nicely to be delivered to the recipients. Plus, my kids just really enjoy folding paper.
January is the type of month where it's easy for teachers to get depressed and overwhelmed, and I know that a few nice, thoughtful words can make a huge impact on a teacher's day. I think our kids need to be pushed at times to show their gratitude. I know many of my coworkers have kept these letters from previous years because I've seen them in their classrooms. It's always fun to deliver the stacks of letters because everyone knows exactly what they are since this is my fourth year doing this with my students.
This is the type of thing that would be great to do with students any time of the year. It doesn't have to be the second week of January. Just declare it "Letter Writing Week" at your school. Or, "Letter Writing Day."