Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Four Corners Weekly News Show-Meli Launey

I have learned more about technology since I started my journey at Chets Creek than I have in my entire life. I am by no means a seasoned “geek” (only a wannabe:) but I will attempt to show you how easy implementing a classroom news show in your classroom really is. This post will not focus on movie making, because I feel that is something we have already learned about through our past geeks. It will, however, show you how our News Show is managed each week.

Mrs.Lopez and I start each week out by selecting 3 students from each of our ELA classes that will act as reporters for the week. The students are selected by interest and behavior. Each student is invited to be on the crew with an official Four Corners Reporter Assignment Sheet. This sheet includes the subject the student will be reporting on and and a spot for daily notes to take throughout the week on their subject assignment. The assignment sheet also includes a spot to get parent signatures for permission to be in the show and to stay after Friday afternoon to tape. Our 6 subjects are Reading, Writing, Word Study, Social Studies, Science, and Math. You will find our weekly reporters actively taking notes throughout the week on classroom lessons.

On Thursday night the students sit down to write their report. They may look through their notes and choose one lesson from the week they particularly liked to focus on in their subject report. Or they have the option of writing a subject report about the week as a whole. The job of reporter is highly coveted, and the kids really get into working on their reports. Some of them even watch the local news station to get ideas.

Fridays are the big day. After school we all meet and prepare to film. Mrs.Lopez begins listening to each child practice their report while I work with the anchors to tape (using a flip video) the opening and closing pieces. We choose 2 kids that did an exceptional job from the week before to be our anchors. The closing is the only "teacher written" part of the show. It includes upcoming school news and reminders. As soon as Mrs.Lopez finishes coaching a reporter, they go and find a spot to report from. For example, the math reporter may want to report in front of the bulletin board with multiplication clusters on it. After choosing a location, they come to me and we begin filming. The taping goes by quickly and we usually finish within 45 minutes. We have also collected some great "out-takes". After one boy accidently dropped a microphone, he suggested we create a "bloopers show" for the end of the year. Keep your eyes open for that show coming up in May!

After taping is done, the rest is a breeze. First, I load the videos into my computer. I use imovie (on Mac computers) to create the show, but Windows Movie Maker will work just as well. I have found pictures on google images to use as the backgrounds you will see transitioning to the different reports. Since I already have the format down, I simply have to open up the show from the week before and "cut and paste" the new scenes into the old show. Then I save it under a new name. It only takes about 30 minutes to create. All the music I have comes from itunes. You can search "sound effects" and get some really cool intros and background music. After you save the show you will need to upload it to Teacher Tube so that you can get the embed code for your blog. Your students and parents can view the Weekly Wrap-Up each weekend.

This project will help your students with their fluency, speaking abilities, and writing skills as well as give them a sense of pride in themselves. It has been a great way to incorporate technology into instruction and give others from all around the world a glimpse into our classroom. I hope you enjoy a sample of our News Show below.

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