Pen to Face

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Katie Kirichenko’s fourth grade class at Barnum Woods Elementary School welcomed their pen pals from the Uniondale Union Free School District’s, Walnut Street School, on June 5.  Together, Ms. Kirichenko’s class and Robyn Weinstein’s fourth grade class from Uniondale held a special meeting.

The two classes began writing to each other as pen pals this past October and continued the relationship with their pen pals throughout the year. Student letters included details on different happenings in their lives, class projects being worked on and certain facts about themselves. 

The culmination of the project came during the face-to-face meeting. As Mrs. Kirichenko’s class entered the building’s all-purpose room, Mrs. Weinstein’s students were holding up signs with their names and the names of their pen pals to begin the interaction. 

Next, students participated in a STEM activity called “Save Fred,” that required the pen pals to work together. The exercise was based on the story “Fred the Gummy Worm,” where Fred forgot to put on his life preserver — a gummy Life Saver — before taking a ride in his plastic cup boat. With the boat flipped over, the students had to use four paperclips to put the Life Saver around Fred without using their hands. 

Following the project, students wished each other a great summer.