I was taken aback this week. Four students have been diligently coming in for tutoring for the past few weeks, and I wanted to let their parents know how hard they've been working. Before school started I bought these pretty marble "stock" cards from the scrapbook section at Michael's. My idea was to make postcards out of them for quick notes to parents.
While 3 of the boys were in for a "retest", I got a card for each and drew a line down the middle "postcard" style and asked them one by one to address them to their parents. The first boy wrote the address first and then their names and left out the city, state and zip entirely. The second boy wrote the correct information but 90 degrees rotated. The 3rd boy did it perfectly. The next day when the 4th was in for tutoring, I asked him to address the postcard, and I prompted him with "name" first, then street address. Then he asked me if he had to put down the city and state. I asked him if he would have known what to do if I hadn't told him, and he said no.
Hmmmm, this was just a skill I thought everyone had, but I guess if you've never written a letter, then how would you know? I learned when I went away to summer camp as a kid. I do remember messing up in the following way, though, so I'll get off my letter-addressing-high-horse. At home my parents sent and received letters from relatives in other countries, so there was always "air mail" written somewhere on the front. So when I went to camp 3 hours away from home and wrote home, I also wrote "air mail".