MBIS preschoolers have taken their inquiry on ‘Who We Are’ beyond family and school community by participating in Preschool Postcard Exchange 2018. They have and are still sending and receiving postcards from other participating schools around the world; learning and discovering what it means to be human.
What is Preschool Postcard Exchange?
The project was started by an early years educator from British Columbia where schools exchange information about themselves by sending postcards and letters. Each year, Summer Cumberland invites teachers across the globe to participate, a wonderful opportunity to share our practices, learn and connect with others.
How does it work?
First of all, we register ourselves online by adding our name to the list shared on Facebook. PS1, 2 and 3 represent MBIS as one member in the group that we select. This year we are in group 5, one of the 12 members in the group.
Once the group is selected, one introduces the school to the group and adds postal details.
The children are informed and we plan with the children about what they would like to share with other schools and how to work on the project.
The parents are informed about the project and the trip to the post office. Transport is arranged and materials resourced.
Once the cards, letters and any other material the children wish to send are ready, a trip to the nearest post office is planned.
How is it connected to our Units of Inquiry?
Beautifully! All three preschools are inquiring into ‘Who We Are’-
PS1: Ways in which we are similar and different.
PS2: How we are connected with others.
PS3: What makes each individual unique.
The project gives children an opportunity to take their learning beyond their classrooms as they engage in the process of finding and sharing information about others and themselves and reflect back on their own learning.
In PS3, over the course of a week, we had received mysterious letters from a very special person. We found out it was the tooth fairy! The children started writing letters to the tooth fairy to find out more information. Following this, the children looked into the story ‘The Jolly Postman’, they started to discuss addresses and where they were from in the world. The children could then link where their new friends’ addresses were from. As a class, we chose to tell the children from another school what we liked to do and decided that a photograph of our class would be a perfect picture for a postcard. It was a fantastic experience for us to develop our writing/ mark making skills. We look forward to receiving post from our new friends.
Our letters to the tooth fairy Sending our letters to friends across the world at the post office
Whereas in PS2, a globe, a world map and a bunch of postcards were introduced to delve into the project. The children seemed very eager to find their home countries on the map as well as find out where the postcards were coming from. Once we shared our ideas and thoughts about postcards and their purpose, the children were invited to ‘write’ to their new friends around the world. ‘What would you like to tell your new friends about yourself?’ Many were happy to share their play experiences with family and friends. Meanwhile, some children wished to write to their parents, siblings and friends near and far. We thought it was a wonderful opportunity to promote literacy and numeracy skills in a meaningful way. Therefore, the next day, a basketful of letters, name cards, stickers, envelopes in different sizes, paper, cardstock and a variety of writing tools were made available for the children to express their thoughts and feelings.
Many ‘postcards’ were written and it continues to be one of the popular engagements with many children. We are looking forward to our trip to the post office and receiving postcards from England, Canada, Punggol Regalia and Western Australia, as we sign off now. By the way, we might even receive a few surprises from our old friends and families. Au-revoir! Tot ziens voor nu! Phir milenge!
Connecting our names to the countries we come from
Writing postcards to our family and friends
The PS1 children received a postcard sent by Ms. Helen and lots of wonderful pictures from their friends from Belgium.
After having a look at the pictures of their classes and school, we discussed what was similar or different between our school and theirs.
We chose some of the pictures that we would like to send to our friends in Canada, US and Australia and wrote (the teachers scribed) why we wanted to send them. We then put them in envelopes, printed and stuck the addresses of the schools they were going to and went on ‘our first field trip’ to the Post Office. The children were disappointed it was a very short drive but once they got there, were excited to see the post men taking out all the letters and parcels in big bags from the post van.
At the post office, we saw many “postcards” and a nice man showed us how letters and parcels are posted. He weighed the letters first before putting the stamps on them and finally posting the cards. The children had a look at the post box where the letters are posted.
It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to share the things they like about their school and for them to find out what other children like to do in their school.
Some of them were also very excited to learn that they could send something from the post office to their friends and family back home.