Everyone performs better at an assignment IF they like doing it. Getting kids interested in reading and writing to enjoy doing it is no exception.
I remember one part of the CBEST qualifying exam for my substitute teaching credential was to submit a timed writing sample about my thoughts of “cheating by high school students on exams”. Needless to say my rambling, full page, written response could have been better said in three short sentences: “I’m not for it. Cheating is bad. Don’t do it".
I don’t like writing under deadline pressures or on subjects I know nothing about. I remember an essay in college that I failed miserably because I could not “imagine a day in the life of an Eskimo boy”
With that digression introduction, I was working in a 4th grade classroom when the next item in the lesson plan listed: If they finish early and have extra time they are allowed to read a book or do "PenPals".
“PenPal time” is writing a letter to anyone in class about anything, stuffing it in a large mailing envelope, addressing it and putting it in the outgoing mailbox. This teacher had one of those huge rural route roadside sized mailboxes on a table in the front of the classroom. Periodically, when the “Mailman of the Week” student noticed the red flag up on the mailbox, he could then deliver the mail to the Pen Pal addressee.
Even I got mail:
I assume that spelling, punctuation and grammar will follow as the year progresses. I’m sure Sophia will learn to spell “substitute” before she gets to 6th grade…