8th Grade Student Newspaper

Every year, I am responsible for producing a student newsletter or student newspaper. A few years ago, I decided it would be fun to have the students apply for the open positions.

So, I had over 60 students apply for a few positions with the paper. I had two 8th grade classes of 31 students each and I tried to make the paper work, with a split class, specific jobs, duties, managing editors for each department, and both I and the students were stressed out!

We delivered an beautiful newspaper and charged 5 cents for each paper. The first paper was about 4 pages in length. As the students settled into their jobs, the paper started to grow to 12 pages…we still charged 5 cents. All of the money earned from the paper, went to a charity that the 8th graders chose.

Now, more than 5 years later, my classes are smaller, but I have decided to keep the classes split. So, for the first semester, one class will work on the paper, and the second semester, those students will train the other 8th grade class.

1. Students create a personal letterhead
2. Students typed a formal business letter requesting a particular position, and inserted the document onto their letterhead
3. Students used a simple resume template from MS Word, and submitted a one page resume with an objective stating which position they desired.

The business letters were quite clever, I will post a few here. The resumes were wonderfully written, I will also post some here as well.

Tomorrow, we start writing the paper…

We have 2 students act as “counselors’ and they run an “Ask Abbey and Abe” column and the student body submits anonymous letters to them.

I have photographers that work side by side with reporters in the News, Editorial/Opinion, Entertainment, and Sports departments.

I have 2 comic creators..they create the comic page that includes puzzles and something to color for the primary grades.

I have an Entertainment division that critiques new video games/ movies/ books/ music. And this year, I added “APP MAN” a student who will critique the apps loaded onto the iPads.

It should be a cool first paper….I will try to share it with you.

I added several pages to my blog!

If you are one of my followers, maybe you noticed that I added several new pages to my blog!

In addition to MSWord 2010, I added Photoshop Elements 9, PowerPoint 2010, and Google Calendar.

What these pages highlight is a fantastic website that anyone can use to help them understand the basics of those particular applications.

Learn it all. Learn it fast. Learn it now.

That website is Lynda.com!

Lynda.com is a fantastic source of instructional videos that explain several–(really several) different software applications.  Especially software applications that are used in education!

You don’t have to be a member to download, copy, or share some of the videos…but if you want access to ALL of them, then you need to join!

I am planning on becoming a member in order to have access to the MANY, many instructional videos that will help my students understand, comprehend, and USE!

Don’t be afraid…try Lynda.com today!


Creating a flipbook of my webquest was time consuming…but I did it!

So today I spent a great deal of time working on my ePortfolio. I love learning, so I enrolled in the local university to earn another teaching certificate! Crazy, I know.

But in one class, on Educational Technology, my colleagues or fellow students were required to make a webquest. My group chose a technology integration webquest. We used google sites, voki’s, google docs, excel, and powerpoint to create it. It is pretty good!

What this webquest asks the students to do is purchase hardware and software for a school using a pre-determined amount of money.

Well, I made a flipbook out of the webquest using FlipSnack, but since you can only make a flipbook with .pdfs, I lost the cute little Voki’s I made for the webquest.

Here is what the flipbook looks like: