Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mystery Mail

After we learned about drawing conclusions we talked about how inferring was very similar. We stuck with the "drawing conclusions" skill but I talked about inferring because of the following activity. While on my quest to find fantastically fun activities for drawing conclusions, I happened upon this post from Clutter-Free Classroom. I just knew we HAD to do mystery mail. And so I purchased this from TpT (and say this is one of my best purchases to date) and got everything ready. It worked out perfectly because we also just started learning about letters to write to our pen-pals (details in another post). So while my class was at lunch I got my letter ready and posted it to our smart board. I was going to post it on the dry erase board but most of them don't face that board and probably wouldn't notice.
We came in from lunch and I gave them directions to sit down and work on the assignment we started before lunch. About 5 minutes into them working someone said "omg Mrs. Sz we got mail!" So I turned my head and said "oh so we did" and continued on to helping the child I was helping. This killed them. They wanted to open that mail so bad! They worked real hard to get their work finished so we could see who it was from. So once everyone finally finished, I asked if they wanted to open it or go to recess. Would you believe they wanted to open the mail instead?! So we gathered on the floor and started to open it. My kids yelled for me to wait until EVERYONE was ready and made me hold the mail up in the air to be sure I wasn't peaking before they could see.

Everyone came to the floor and I put my prepared chart up on the board (to which they said "how did you know to make that"- I told them I saw there was mail so I got it ready during lunch). I started opening the envelope and one my kids was called for ESL. The rest of the class felt bad she was going to miss out on the fun. I told them that we should make some predictions who it could be from and make some observations about it before I opened it.
None of them even noticed that my stamp was hand drawn. I think they were so convinced it was from our pen-pal class that they couldn't think of anything else. So I finally opened the envelop and pulled out my clues one at a time. I didn't even mean to but I practically confirmed for them that it was their pen-pals even though it wasn't. See a little background- I am from Buffalo NY and our pen-pal class is my friend's class back home. They know this. So when the first clue was Buffalo Wings (as they called them)- they said Buffalo! It's food from Buffalo. My intent was they would say something about me. Oops #1.

Clue number 2 was a picture of an apple because I am a teacher and I like apple products. They took it as "The Big Apple- NY is called the Big Apple". Oops #2.

Clue number 3 I thought would be the giveaway. My kids know I love love love colored pens. So it was a picture of colored pens. Well I am sure you can guess what happened here. They said "PENS for pen-pals". Oops #3.

I was hysterical at this point trying to read my letter to them. It took until I got to the line that said "you are the best class I have ever had" for them to realize it was from me. One little girl said "I knew it was you!" and another said "Ya know most times it isn't good to tell stories- but we will forgive you for this one because it was fun." Afterwards I asked them what they just did and my little boy that I posted about here, shot his hand up in the air and was practically jumping to answer. So I called on him and he proudly said "DREW CONCLUSIONS!" to which another boy said "Wait a minute.... we just did a lesson- you made us do work and we didn't even know it?!" I laughed. And after that enjoyable lesson we went out to recess.

Have I mentioned I love these kids?!

(Thank you Clutter-Free Classroom for this amazing lesson. I have 5 other teachers preparing mystery mail for my kids and we are doing one a week- which is why I taught the word inferring because next time students will complete the worksheet that came with the lesson and it says infer.)

1 comment:

  1. Awesome!! I will be working on this next week!


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