Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Field trip

Tomorrow my Journalism students and I will venture to a nearby city for a tour of one of the area's daily newspapers. This will be my fourth year taking the students to the paper, and I have no doubt that it will be - as it has been in the past - one of the year's highlights.

The editor-in-chief has graciously agreed to give some of his time to the students and lead them through an editorial exercise where they will be responsible for selecting the stories that would have run on both the main and local front pages. Students will split into teams of four, be given a list of about 20 articles the paper was planning to run, and then decide what gets prominent placement and what doesn't.

After the students reveal their choices, the EIC will display that day's paper and explain why they ran what they did. It's a fast-paced, authentic activity that simulates the decisions editors must make as they work to create each issue.

This will be followed by a tour of the newsroom and the paper's printing press. Finally, the students and I will adjourn for lunch before heading back to school. Not a bad way to spend a Thursday.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

200th post

Today concludes my second day back at school. It also marks my 200th blog post! So far the year is off to a good start. I'm enjoying getting to know my new students, and it's nice to see them engaging with the work. My only complaint would be with the heat. It's been in the mid 90s these first two days, and looks to continue through at least tomorrow.

I've started tweeting my homework assignments on bgassignments. Some students seemed to think this was cool, while others didn't know what to make of it. In time I think they will grow to appreciate having an easily accessible list of assignments that also includes key handouts in digital form. I imagine parents will also be interested in this, as it provides a lot of information about what students have been - and will be - doing.

I'll have to celebrate reaching 200 posts this weekend. There's still two days left in this week, and a lot to do before Friday 2 p.m.!