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Any Letter for me? Relationships Between an Elementary School Letter Writing Program and Student Attitudes, Literacy Achievement, and Friendship Culture

Abstract

This study involved the development, implementation, and assessment of a comprehensive schoolwide mailing program as a practical tool to communicate enthusiasm towards writing to children and actively engage them in letter writing. The author played the dual role of teacher-researcher and worked for one school year with one teacher from each grade level from grade 1 to grade 5. The objective of the study was to explore the relationship between an innovative mailing program and children’s attitudes towards letter writing. This study employed both qualitative (conference with teachers) and quantitative (survey) methods. The author initiated the study with a presentation to the teachers (during a staff meeting) and to the children (in an assembly), systematically collected feedback from teachers to assess the program throughout the year, informed parents (through school newsletters), and assessed children’s attitudes towards both writing and letter writing at the beginning and end of the program. It was anticipated that the program would provide children with authentic writing experiences, foster positive attitudes towards writing, enhance their literacy skills, and in turn strengthen a “friendship culture” in the school by being coparticipants as readers and writers in the letter writing process. Data analysis indicated that children enjoyed the responsive letter writing process and that their self-perceptions as writers and their writing skills improved. Results support the introduction of an elementary school mailing program as a means to cultivate and strengthen positive relationships between pupils and invite family participation.

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Acknowledgments

Special thanks to Dr. Liz Brooker for advice and suggestions on revisions to earlier drafts of the paper and Dr. Mary-Louise Vanderlee for consultation. A heartfelt thank you to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and Vaheguru Ji for ongoing guidance and support.

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Correspondence to Sukhdeep Kaur Chohan.

Appendix

Appendix

See Table 4.

Table 4 Feedback Provided by Teachers in Conferences

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Chohan, S.K. Any Letter for me? Relationships Between an Elementary School Letter Writing Program and Student Attitudes, Literacy Achievement, and Friendship Culture. Early Childhood Educ J 39, 39–50 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-010-0438-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-010-0438-5

Keywords

  • Letters
  • Writing attitudes
  • Elementary school children
  • Family support
  • Literacy