Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Magical Product Swap


I am honored to be reviewing one of my favorite products by Kelly from Teacher Idea Factory.
Jessica Stanford from Mrs. Stanford's Class came up with this brilliant idea! Check out her blog to check out all of the fabulous product reviews! 
Genius I tell you! I wish I would of thought of this! I have so many ideas of what I want to do with this starting in August! Kelly incorporated Writing, Technology, Social Studies and so much more in this 77 page packet! 
There are so many ways you can use this to help your students with writing and have fun at the same time. Kelly is setting up a pen pal exchange that will be opening soon.....can't wait! In her packet she has clear directions on how to set up an exchange with another class in your grade level. It's so easy to swap class lists & pair up students via email!

I am also going to do this with another class within my school. I'm not sure if I will do 1st or 2nd grade. This is going to be so exciting for them & it will help meet our writing standards at the same time...YEE HAW! 

I will start out with a questionnaire exchange in the beginning of the year so the paired students can get to know each other right away. We will write back and forth about once a month. The first month can be an all about me type friendly letter. After that you can incorporate some information about where we live, our school, family, holidays, seasons, celebrations & communities. The possibilities are endless. I can totally see my girls talking about Justin Bieber and peace signs. I will also send a first day of school photo with their first letter. 

Kelly includes all sorts of templates for friendly letters, 411 (first, then, next, last), Let Me Show You (letter about school projects/activities), postcards, favorite recipe, & MONTHLY templates! I can't even think of anything to add to this wide selection. Kelly added various versions of each writing template so this can be used in all elementary grade levels. 
 I will use the top monthly template for my firsties. Older children can use the template below.

 Here is a sample of the friendly letter label lesson that is provided.
This is some examples of decorated envelopes! How fun is this! I can see the excitement on their faces when I say "You've got mail"! 

Need help with Social Studies integration???? How about this! 

What a great way to incorporate directionality & mapping skills! 

Last year I participated in a postcard exchange which I am doing again. I will order extra postcards from Vistaprint to send our pen pals a card! I also would skype with other classrooms all over the world. I plan on doing this as well as long as our pen pals have a web cam. Wouldn't it be fun to show off projects, plays or even read to each other. 

I'm thinking our writing will be done together at first. Once I introduce "Work on Writing" in Daily 5 we can do our pen pal writing then. I just know this will be a favorite center! 

Follow Kelly's blog here!

Sour Apple Studio



  1. GREAT POST and great product! Can't wait to use it and join her pen pal list!!

    ✏ Mrs. Stanford's Class ✏
    ❤ I hope you enjoyed the swap & will join for the next one!! Check out my post for the link to the form :)

  2. Mel . . . you are too good to me. Thanks for the wonderful review :)

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

  3. Found you through the swap- I'm now your newest follower. :o) What a cute Pen Pal letter packet!! Thanks for the review and I just checked out your Rewards Coupons as well- absolutely love them!

    Come visit me soon at Keeping Up With First Grade

    Best wishes,

  4. Hi Mel, I'm interested in a Stamina poster that you had on Pinterest. I think it was for silent reading. Was it yours? How do I find it? Thanks!

  5. great post.

    can you check out my new teaching blog and help me pick a design? Would really appreciate it.