Part of the reason I wanted to do this was that all too often, writing is done for the sake of writing. I wanted to give my learners a chance to write for a purpose (in this case, communicating with someone and fostering a long-distance friendship, maybe), and to connect with children around the world.
So as a whole habitat, we did a lesson early in the term on writing letters and all of our children wrote a draft (albeit, none of them actually had set buddies at the time). I was able to work out through one of my ISTE connections 11 learners in the US (North Dakota to be exact) who could receive letters. So a week or so ago, I had my 11 learners write their good drafts, filled an envelope and sent them off. I've gotten word that they arrived (thank goodness my handwriting wasn't TOO bad!) and the responses will come back shortly. I'm pretty excited for that. Here are the letters that my learners have written:
One of the biggest difficulties in this whole thing was arranging buddies. Some of my fellow learning coaches had some schools to write to, and some of them fell through. I was only able to (currently) connect with one other classroom (though I am still in talks with some others at a school in North Carolina). I think though, that I'm going to continue to be persistent. I'm still looking for some buddies, so if anyone is looking for some pen pal buddies (anywhere in the world), leave a comment here or a DM on twitter and I'll get back to you!