Elementary students produce own newsletters
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Our elementary school students are hitting the presses and honing their journalism skills, creating special editions you don’t want to miss!
Earlier this year, third grade teacher Ms. Mullarkey wanted to help her students produce a newsletter, so Lower School Innovation Specialist Tanya Layton introduced elementary students and teachers to Smore, a website that lets users design their own professional-looking newsletters and flyers. Users are provided a variety of templates, where they can enter information and add photos, logos, links and other features, then Smore does the rest. The newsletters can be shared via email or social media, or even printed.
Mrs. Mullarkey’s third grade class has been prolific publishers so far, producing four newsletters in less than two months! Students work in groups of four, choose their writing topics, then take on the roles of photographer, reporter, web designer and editor. Through the newsletters, students have shared information about class projects, including a feature on their Bio Boxes; interviewed classmates about field trips; discussed math concepts; and incorporated vocabulary words into stories. They also have showcased the various writing styles they are learning about in class (fantastic writing with strong adjectives; use of transitions and adverbs; detailed writing; opinion writing).
The students are enthusiastic about their journalistic endeavors. “It’s like regular writing, but more fun,” explains Matthew. “We get to use technology and pick cool backgrounds on the screen.”
Sophia likes showing off her newsletters to her family. “I like [when the newsletter is published], because I can say, ‘Hey, Mom, look what we are working on.’ I get to show her what we do in school every day, instead of just telling her.”
Hadley appreciates the collaborative aspect of producing newsletters. “It’s fun to work with my friends, to talk about what we want to write about, to plan everything out and then write it.”
Ms. Mullarkey’s students have streamlined the production process. While their first newsletter took a couple of days to produce, the latest one was created during a “working lunch, in less than 20 minutes,” according to Kiyana.
Ms. Mullarkey appreciates the teachable moments provided by the newsletters. “I am able to work on specific skills with the students, like helping them to think critically (especially when coming up with headlines) and then be reflective on their work. And I love that the parents read the newsletters together with their children.”
Our journalists hope that other classes soon start producing their own newsletters, because, as Annika says, “It may look like a lot of work, but we have fun with it, and we get to do it with our friends. It’s awesome!”
Here is a glimpse of our journalists at work:
Click here for the latest edition of the Mullarkey class newsletter,“S’More Learning, S’More Fun”: https://www.smore.com/exdhr