Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "school"

The PhillipsFamily lives in a small town Minnesota, USA, where they homeschool their daughter Maya and use Postcrossing to teach her about geography and cultures all over the world. Some months ago, we received a very nice email from them, letting us know that Maya had won 1st place on her county fair’s 4-H project by submitting a presentation about Postcrossing and her postcard collection! 🥇 We were so proud of Maya that we decided to interview her for the blog — here she is:

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

I found out about Postcrossing from a friend who thought I would like it because I really like geography. I was hooked right away! I LOVE getting postcards from all over the world and learning about different countries and people. I’m always excited to get the mail everyday to see which countries I can add to my collection. Recently I received my first postcard from Spain. I have postcards from all 7 continents!

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

My family really likes geocaching together. We have seen so many beautiful places hunting caches. I also really, really like to read and play board games. My favorite books are the Harry Potter series. I play Legos a lot (thanks Denmark!), and also scrapbook.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
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I keep my postcards in a nice box. They are sorted by continent and country. My mama really likes that I can have such a big collection without taking up much space.

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.
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One of my favorite postcards is from Gordon the Great. He is a cat from New Zealand who has to put up with Fat Dog and Skinny Dog. I’ve showed his postcard to lots of my friends because it’s so funny.

Have you inspired anyone else to join Postcrossing or start collections of their own?

I entered my postcard collection into the county fair as a 4-H project. I made a big display showcasing some of my favorite cards and wrote a description telling everyone about Postcrossing and how they can join.

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I won first place in my age group and second place overall. I got a big ribbon for it! I was so excited because it was my first time entering anything into the fair. I hope a lot of people signed up after seeing it.

Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?

I was surprised when I received a card from San Marino. I didn’t even know it was a country until then.

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

I am passionate about reading. I like reading new books and rereading old books. Besides Harry Potter, some of my favorites are Calvin & Hobbes, Anne of Green Gables, and A Series of Unfortunate Events. I’m currently reading through Mensa’s Excellence in Reading book list. It has a lot of classics my parents like.

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We’re always in awe of teachers and their innovative ideas for class projects involving Postcrossing. Sometime ago, we told you about this game of bingo from a Taiwanese school, and now Charlene (aka clbrown) from the USA wrote in to let us know of a project she’s been doing with her class, connecting their lives to Mozart… via postcards!

I know it sounds a bit strange, but it works! Charlene is an elementary school teacher in Omaha Public Schools in Nebraska. This summer, their camp theme was “Making Connections” — and what better way to connect Mozart to students than through postcards? The assignment was to select postcards that represent the student, represent Mozart, and cards that have something in common for both the student and Mozart. Charlene gave them all an example, plenty of her own postcards, and let them do their research. Here are some photos of the result:

Connecting to Mozart with postcards Connecting to Mozart with postcards Connecting to Mozart with postcards Connecting to Mozart with postcards Connecting to Mozart with postcards

Did you know, for instance, that Mozart called his wife "little mouse’, or that he loved the colour red and had a few red suits? What about the fact that he was an animal lover and kept several pets?

The results are great and they show a lot of meticulous researching, as connecting an Austrian composer to a random postcard takes some creative thinking! Turns out, we’re all humans in the end, so connections are inevitable, once you go looking for them.

Well done children, and well done Charlene, for coming up with this imaginative activity!

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Meet Alex (aka Zeby), a very enthusiastic young postcrosser from New Zealand. His mom Marian describes him as a little evangelist who will happily tell everyone he meets about Postcrossing… and he’s doing such a great job that he earned the very special Ambassador badge last year! So of course, we had to have him on the blog for an interview. 😊

Hi Alex! How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

My Mum found Postcrossing on the internet one day and thought it looked interesting. She had collected postcards when she was young and she thought I might like to have a new hobby. My brother had started stamp collecting and I wanted to do my own thing, I really like postcards and getting mail, so it was the perfect hobby for me.

Postcrossing has been a great experience so far, it gets even more interesting each day. It gives me the chance to talk to people on the other side of the world. I get to learn about what creatures live in their countries, what their capital city is like and what their lives are like.

I’ve joined in a lot of Round Robins on the Postcrossing Forum, it’s a lot of fun. From the Forum my brother and I have also got penpals our own age — it’s really nice to write cards and letters to other kids.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

I’m a Cub Scout. I love earning new badges, last year I earned 12 individual award badges. My twin brother and I got more badges than other Cub in the pack but it was a lot of work to get that many done in the year. Dad joined Cubs as a Leader late last year too and we all went to the Cubs 100 Years Camp in November.

Zeby and his family

My biggest hobby is reading. I love it. I read a lot, over 200 pages every night but Dad turns the light off if it gets too late. My favourite kinds of books are fantasy books. I got a lot of books for Christmas and I go to the library nearly every week.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!

My letterbox is a long way away from my house, it’s a big rural letterbox and we don’t get mail every day in our valley. My postie comes in a van and sometimes I am at the letterbox waiting for him. He was very curious about all the mail I was getting so I told him about Postcrossing, he says I’m keeping him in a job with all my Postcrossing mail.

Zeby's mailbox

Here’s me at one of our local postboxes, I normally post my cards here as it’s outside the supermarket.

Zeby's postbox

I have a whole wall of cards on display. There’s one from each country in my collection pinned on the wall and I’ve got string leading to where it’s from in the world.

Zeby's wall of postcards

My world map got too crowded so my uncle gave me a map of Europe.

Zeby's wall of postcards

I swap cards around with my collection boxes and the wall. I have collections of native animals, native costumes, Cold War, volcanoes and space. My brother and I also have a box of Greetings From cards we are collecting. In my room I have my special owl collection on the wall. The house is covered in postcards!

Have you inspired anyone else to join Postcrossing or start collections of their own?

I’ve talked to my gifted education class about Postcrossing. They liked the idea and a lot wanted to join themselves. The teacher liked the idea too because it opens the world to classrooms.

My Scout Pack Master loved my Postcrossing so much she joined. Dad says I talk to everyone I meet about Postcrossing. Everyone who comes in our house gets a tour of my Postcrossing maps!

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

I like picking a new person to send a card to and then reading their profiles. I want to know about the people and match a card to them. It’s like a lucky dip, getting a new person. I enjoy sending cards out.

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

I have so many postcards that I love. I don’t have an absolute favourite but so many people have sent me amazing cards. My rarest official card was from Montenegro:

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Someone else sent me an official with my name on the front!

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My favourite rare country was a card from Antarctica, though it didn’t come from Postcrossing. It was sent from a New Zealand scientist I met, she went down to Antarctica to do some field work this summer.

Antarctica
Is there anything that you are passionate about?

Space is a big passion for me. My hero is Neil deGrasse Tyson, he’s an astrophysicist. I love astronomy and one day I’d like my own telescope to look at the stars. All science is amazing.

I love learning, I want to know as much as possible. I like trying to learn languages. I like learning about history and how the world works. I’m lucky that I’m a worldschooler!

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A while ago, we got an email from Chang Chia-Yen (aka Geoian), in Taiwan. He’s a teacher in a secondary school there, and has been using Postcrossing with his classes… with a twist!

For a while, Geoian and his students collected postcard from all over the world, until they received a nice variety of them. Then, they shuffled all the cards together, divided the class into 2 teams and got ready for a mighty game of bingo!

Geoian's class bingo

The goal of Geoian’s class bingo is to be the first to make a straight line of 5 items (in this case, postcards), either diagonal, vertical or horizontally across the board, and eventually to complete it. At the start, each team fills up their lattice with postcards they pick, distributed randomly.

Geoian's class bingo

Then, conditions are laid out — these are special criteria such as “a multiview card”, “a card from a World Heritage site” or “a card featuring an aurora borealis”. Some are quite specific, while others are broad ranging and might be able to accommodate several different postcards.

They randomly choose the criteria for each turn, list them all on their blackboard, and then the game can start! In each turn, teams choose one postcard that matches the condition at play, and can thus be removed from the board. (Teams can also play some wildcards that change the conditions to better suit their needs… but we won’t go into so much detail). Whoever removes all the postcards from a straight line, makes a bingo!

Geoian's class bingo

It seems tricky, and I confess we had a little trouble understanding the concept initially… so the students got together on their own initiative and made a really nice video to show us the game in action! We found it really endearing and were infected by their enthusiasm — so we decided to share it with you all! Here it is:

It’s very nice to see this whole new dimension to exploring postcards — and also to know that the fun doesn’t stop after a card his registered! 😊 A huge thank you to Geoian for coming up with the game, and to all his students who took the time to make this video on own their free time to help us understand their bingo game. They are Angelina and Cathy (the hosts), Jenny and Nini (the videographers), and Linda, Mina, Frank, Duke, Jacob, Gino, Doris and Alex (the players) — thank you guys!

PS – If you’re a teacher or a parent, why not give it a go? Categories can be as convoluted or simple as you’d like, adapting the difficulty level to each children’s skills. Let us know how it goes!

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Remember the cute kids who serenaded Postcrossing last year with a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday, both in English and Maori?

Awwww… 😍

The little ones come from Koputaroa, a rural area in the North Island of New Zealand. Their Postcrossing account, Kererū, is both the name of their learning centre and the name of a bird native to the islands. The class has been on Postcrossing for 2 years now, and sent over 400 postcards… they’re very enthusiastic! :) We talked to their teachers about their class and Postcrossing.

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

We came across Postcrossing after making connections with kindergartens and other childhood centres around the world. While many who responded to us were in USA, we wanted to communicate with more centres around the world. A Google search turned up Postcrossing and so our exciting journey began. The children’s delight in receiving postcards of different peoples and places around the world kept us hooked.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

We have 3 teachers who have different hobbies. Helen is keen to travel the world and later this year is heading over to Europe with her family for a holiday. Sharee loves listening to music and adores One Direction and Ed Sheeran. I (Faye) personally like to read science fiction books and also enjoy being on my computer.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
Foxton mailbox

This is the mailbox in Foxton where all our cards are sent from. My husband considers it a personal job for him to actually put the cards in the box each time!

Foxton mailbox
What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

The children love visiting the mailbox at the end of the drive to see if the mail van has left anything for them. They also love choosing the cards that gets sent to the receiving participant. A lot of thought goes into choosing just the right one.

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

Where's Wally This is the prize we won for our video contribution to Postcrossing’s 10th birthday. The children absolutely love it and gather around it at reading time each day to see where Wally is. They consider it a challenge to see how fast they can find Wally!

Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?

We are absolutely thrilled to receive our two cards from the African continent, and hope for many more. The children have loved the many Finnish postcards that we received before Christmas that had Santa on them.

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

We work with children aged between 2–5 years so anything that interests them on a daily basis is what we are passionate about. With Postcrossing, they love receiving cards which show different foods, dress, cultures, buildings and animals.

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