2007-2008 Featured Teachers
It is a real sense of empowerment for the students to browse the newspapers, locate pertinent information, share ideas, and together report on a given topic. The classes look forward to the newspapers each day. Many students also read them for recreation during recess and lunch time and during silent reading times.
Meanwhile, in the Grade Six classes, the newspapers are also used for a variety of purposes, especially in Language Arts and Social Studies. In Language Arts, the teachers use The Telegram to teach such concepts and skills as writing a news article, the importance of captions in providing information about a picture, identifying various text features and helping students locate and understand written text.
In Social Studies, Grade Six students are learning about global cultures and issues and how they relate to the students’ own culture, as well as the part these issues play in Canadian culture.
With each project and activity, the students will be locating, reading and discussing articles to build their comprehension as well as oral language skills.
One of the main applications of the newspapers at Roncalli is as a learning resource in the Special Services department. A few of the activities used by the special services teachers include: reading comprehension exercises, where students read selected articles and are then asked to answer the five-Ws and H (who, what, when, where, why and how). The ‘Job Applications’ section is used as an idea generator for writing cover letters. The movie advertisements are also used in reading comprehension exercises. The retail advertisements within the paper are used for various math exercises where students develop grocery lists, identify unit pricing, determine ‘best buys’ and the skill of ‘making change’ when making a purchase. Taken together, The Telegram newspapers are used by the special services teachers in their promotion of reading, writing and numeracy skills.
Roncalli ensures that a number of newspapers are placed in the Learning Resource Centre each day. Primarily students use these papers in two ways. First, they read them casually at various times throughout the day, and second, they avail of the reservoir of newspapers stored in the resource center for research projects.
For the first time since the inception of the NIE program at Roncalli, we have a delivery system in place this school year. Alex Phillips takes the papers and delivers them throughout the school. This delivery program is part of Alex’s educational program. It helps to satisfy outcomes that are developed within his courses. Alex is enjoying his role as delivery person for the NIE program.
On a regular basis, classroom teachers make use of the newspapers supplied by NIE for a variety of learning activities. Teachers place a paper in their classroom for perusal by students at times when they have free time (i.e. once their class work is completed). Teachers also incorporate the use of the newspapers into their lessons. Activities in English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Career Development, and Enterprise Education are common. Teachers also use articles from The Telegram as a personal source of research on current issues and other topics being discussed in their classes.
Taken together, the availability of copies of The Telegram provides the students and teachers of Roncalli with an immediate and up-to-date repository of news, advertisements, classifieds, pictures, literary articles, and editorials. Thank you to The Telegram for providing this valuable resource for our students and teachers.
All Hallows has been involved in the Newspapers in Education Program (NIE) for five years. The teachers and students have used newspapers in a variety of activities. These activities span most curriculum areas and cover a broad range of topics.
Teachers have used newspapers to complete research projects in social studies, language, and science. All students in grade 4 used newspaper articles to learn about natural disasters. This was completed in the fall during hurricane season. Students tracked the path of major hurricanes and learned about the places that were devastated by these storms. Reading about first hand accounts from people who lived through these disasters gave the students a better understanding of the hardships faced by the victims of these natural disasters.
Another important function of daily newspapers at All Hallows is tracking weather patterns in this region. All grade 5 students are required to keep a running record of weather conditions in their area for a period of time and submit an assignment. Students are asked to make observations and draw conclusions about the data they have collected. Many students continue to make these observations long after they have completed their assignment.
In the primary division teachers have been very creative with the use of newspapers in the classroom. The kindergarten teachers use pictures and headlines that fit into their seasonal themes. Halloween, Remembrance Day, Christmas, Valentines Day, Groundhog Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day are of interest to kindergarten children. Teachers use both pictures and headings to prompt a discussion during circle time. Kindergarten teachers have also used newspapers to help students with letter and number recognition.
In grade 1, teachers have used articles of interest during their daily news circle time. Some of these articles were chosen because certain students had a particular interest in a news story they had heard on the evening news. Students in grade 2 have used the serial stories and questions to practice listening skills and reading comprehension. In grade 3 teachers have used the hockey statistics to help teach math outcomes.
Having newspapers in the classroom for project work has prompted students to begin reading the newspaper for leisure reading. Certain sections of the paper were in big demand. The boys love reading the Sports section and keeping up to date with their favorite teams. Another group of students enjoy reading their horoscopes while others enjoyed the comics.
The NIE program has provided our students and teachers with a valuable learning resource. It is used in a variety of different ways by both primary and elementary students. We will continue to use newspapers in our classroom to support our literacy and numeracy programs.
Our activities range from posting editorial cartoons to creating Literature Circle units based on The Telegram. Staff members use The Telegram to prompt class discussions on anything from advertising techniques to world issues.
English Language Arts: Our ELA students often use the newspaper to create and complete work. Students have used newspapers to create new papers; ones more suited to the interests of teens in this province. For this activity, articles are clipped from various sections of the Telegram and then reassembled into a new (teen version) paper. In addition, the newspaper is often used to assist in reading fluency and comprehension along with writing activities, class discussions, research, critiques, newspaper or radio announcements, etc. Clipping headlines and illustrations to use as story starters is one such example.
Study Skills and Life Skills: Students receiving special supports for study skill strategies have used the Telegram to assist with Structured Query Report (SQR), 5Ws+H, and scanning techniques as well as to enhance their studies in other subject areas.
Religious Education: These students have used The Telegram as part of their research for various projects and class discussions. They keep up-to-date on current issues relating to aspects of the Religious Education program.
Social Studies: Students use The Telegram to assist in various aspects of the social studies program whether it is current events, political issues such as tracking the election, world issues, environmental issues, or propaganda techniques.
Career Development: Students in our career development classes use the Telegram for a variety of activities. Career scavenger hunts are a favourite! Aside from this, they regularly view the paper to become aware of the types of jobs available, where they are located, as well as the salaries.
This is just a glimpse of the many uses for The Telegram at Heritage Collegiate. NIE is fabulous initiative providing a wealth of valuable resources for all subject areas. We offer our thanks to The Telegram for an enthusiastic NIE In-service for our staff in November. Heritage staff is now equipped with numerous exciting avenues (via NIE) to explore in our endeavour to enrich the minds of our youth.
For several years now, The Telegram has been a regular visitor to the classrooms of St. Bernard’s Elementary, in Witless Bay. Approximately 25 copies each day come to the school and both staff and students use this wonderful resource in their leisure and academic time.
This year the Learning Resource teacher had introduced a unit on Voting to the grade three classrooms and using The Telegram was a major resource for this unit. On a daily basis, the students would get informational updates on the major political parties and their candidates, use the statistics in their math program, look at the candidates and their “political platforms” for Social Studies and also, analyzed the political cartoons sections of the newspaper and why the artist would chose the subject being illustrated. This was also done for Social Studies and Art. Students had a lot of fun creating their own political cartoons and held “mock” elections within the classroom.
Students were very engaged in reading various articles and the comic sections and we all know, students need to read more and The Telegram provided another avenue, another tool towards this goal, which met many of the outcomes for English Language Arts program.
The teachers and students found this resource extremely helpful with their day to day research and up to date commentary on issues of political importance. Through The Telegram, the students at St. Bernard’s Elementary were more informed about the political candidates and their associated political parties and great interest in the past election was generated.
In the month of February, the grade five classes are doing a unit called Grandparents Day and The Telegram will be used on a regular basis, especially any information pertaining to historical content of Newfoundland and Labrador.
St. Bernard’s students and staff really enjoy this valuable resource and hope to have the continued support of The Telegram for many more years to come. The photo in the NIE Extra Credit special feature page, published in The Telegram, is of Sister Patricia’s grade three class researching political cartoons and political candidates in the October election.
(Submitted by Kevin Martin, Learning Resource Teacher and NIE Teacher Coordinator)
Listed below are some of the ways Ms. MacLellan uses the NIE program in her classes:
English - As an instructional tool to demonstrate how to write articles, letters to the editors, editorial cartoons, create "found" poems, and also as a way to critically read text for bias: Religious Studies - To generate discussions on current events and morality: Art - As an art medium whereby students take pictures from the paper and manipulate them to create their own images: Science - To research and plot NL weather trends: Canadian Law - to research/follow current trials for discussion: Career Development - to read and "respond" to job postings
Holy Cross School is K-12 with135 students. We have been participating in the NIE program for five years. Like many other freshman teachers, I am constantly searching for activities that I can incorporate into my multiage classroom lesson plans. To help make these decisions easier, there are criteria that you can follow. In order for a lesson to be motivational and promote learning, it should be fun, engaging, authentic, fit the curriculum, and it needs to provide all students with an opportunity to succeed. Bringing newspapers into my classroom has allowed me to create lessons that fulfill these requirements.
Social Studies provide many opportunities to use newspapers in the classroom. During last fall’s provincial election, The Telegram’s NIE program provided schools with election based activities. One of the activities required students to research the candidates and complete a chart of their observations of each. I adapted this activity to fit my 4/5/6 multi-grade class. Students worked in small groups and gathered articles about the election. Next, they created a list of characteristics to describe each party leader which we later used to compile a whole class list. As a class, we discussed how they determined these characteristics, as well as, the importance of being objective. Throughout the election, the class would briefly return to the list and determine how these characteristics may be influencing the election outcome. The students learned to gather relevant information from newspapers, to think critically and reflect about what they have read. As a teacher, I learned that elementary students can be both brutally honest and constructively critical about our politicians!
Common to most small out-port schools, teachers are required to teach across many disciplines. Fortunately, the NIE program can be fitted to any subject and any grade level. Newspapers have been particularly useful for Grade nine religion. One of the course outcomes requires students to explore social justice issues. As a simple activity, I had students search newspapers from the last month to find issues that they considered relative to social justice. Students cut and pasted their articles and photos to create a collage. This activity allowed students the chance to work freely and converse about social justice issues relevant to everyone from their own community to the global community. Also, it is a creative and effective way to assess students understanding.
Most recently, newspapers have played a significant role in my 4/5/6 multi-grade science class. Our current theme is weather; particularly the weather of Newfoundland and Labrador. Throughout the unit, the elementary students will add to group posters which consist of weather based articles and photos found in various newspapers. Once the children have pasted their newspaper discoveries, they are required to describe the photo or briefly paraphrase the weather article. Aside from the weather posters, students frequently check the weather forecasts in the newspapers. Most days, students take their own measurements of temperature, wind direction and speed, precipitation, and cloud cover in order to make a class weather forecast. This forecast is then compared to that found in the newspaper. It is very exciting when students discover that their forecasts are accurate.
The NIE program assists teachers with ease in lesson preparation and offers students fun, independent, and authentic class activities. I am often concerned that students are not well informed about current issues. The implementation of this program is a fantastic way to keep students current and engaged. As a reflective teacher, I often use my student's opinions and reactions to these activities to guide my future planning. So far, I have extremely positive feedback. Students have described the NIE program activities as fun, interesting, and a nice change from the regular classroom routine. It even provides some students with the chance to keep up to date on their favourite articles. As quoted by one student, "I like it because I can take a peek at the sports page!"
As a Special Needs Teacher, I too incorporate The Telegram into my daily teachings. One of my main uses for The Telegram this year is to provide a functional use to work on the language development goals set forth in two of my students Individual Support Service Plans. These two students deliver The Telegram daily to 26 classrooms. They take the papers into each class and answer questions in complete sentences using appropriate language. All the teachers know it is part of their programming in Language Development and will ask them relevant questions about the paper or just questions in general. It is language development in its most natural setting. One of the students will now use complete sentences, make eye contact and is able to answer basic who, what, when where and why questions. His job as newspaper delivery boy has assisted this growth. The other student that delivers the paper never spoke in Kindergarten or grade 1. She was selective mute and only found her voice, with encouragement, last year. Now this year she goes into every classroom in this school, holds her head up high and uses her words to greet the teachers and students. She will tell all the students if there is something interesting in the paper and answer all questions asked. Her role as newspaper delivery girl has helped her find her voice. This job provides both these students with a sense of pride, a sense of achievement and a sense of belonging.
The Telegram is a common sight in our primary and elementary classrooms in both the English stream and French immersion. We work hard to help our students respond critically to text. Visual literacy and media literacy are some of the main activities using The Telegram. These types of activity can be teacher directed, student directed or individual seatwork. The Telegram lends itself to all of these types of activities. It is a critical tool in helping teachers teach the Language Arts outcomes set forth by the Department of Education. In the Kindergarten classroom they use The Telegram for centre work such as Search and Find whereby the children will look for letters or words that they know and circle them. They also have to count to see how many they have found in total. They also do searches for numbers from 1 to 10. For their “ME” unit, they have to find the letters from their names in the headings in the paper. Then they have to cut them out and spell their name. They also look at the birth announcement section to see how they are written. Then they bring in their own and write one together as a guided writing activity. Another activity they use is to cut pictures from The Telegram that children would be familiar with, i.e. snowman, soccer field, forest, kids skating. Then the students have to brainstorm for things they would hear, feel or smell if they were in that place. This can then be written as a poem or short story. They also do collages of feelings.
In Grade 1, one of the teachers has a “News Wall” whereby the students cut out relevant pictures or articles and place on the wall. It is what is important to them. They also use The Telegram as a word/number search game in their classroom. The children act as detectives using eyeglasses as a means to seek out various sight words and numbers within the newspaper. The children use special detective hi-lighters to circle their findings. It is a great activity for beginning readers. Another use of the paper is they focus on headlines and how the font, colour and wording influence the interest of the reader. The children then create their own headlines in relation to the pictures in The Telegram. Then they create their own newspaper, writing articles to accompany the headlines and pictures. Another grade one teacher uses the weather section to tie in with her science unit. Every day they check the weather and record it. At the end of the month, they would graph the results.
The grade two teachers make their own class newspaper after becoming familiar with the format of The Telegram. “Picture Talk” is an activity they also do that ties in with a story from the anthology. The students write their own captions to accompany the pictures. It gives them ideas on what to write which is especially useful for reluctant writers. In the grade three classrooms, pictures or ads are often used for visual literacy or media literacy activities. In Social Studies, they also make collages of communities or neighbourhoods using any pictures or words from The Telegram that relate to this concept.
Within the grade four classrooms, The Telegram is used as a resource for many subject areas. They create a lot of various collages. For Religion and Health they find pictures for collages of good Samaritans and collages of feelings. In Math, they make collages of angles where they look for various angle hidden in pictures. They have to highlight the angle so it is obvious to others. In Language Arts they make a collage of conflict, both internal and external. They also check the Real Estate section, and then have to write their own ads for a tree house.
Data management and visual literacy are the two main reasons the grade fives use the paper. One teacher said the students would look at the movie section, and then conduct a survey for favourite movies. After, the students have to draw graphs to display their results. They also use the sports statistics to create relevant story problems that interest the children. Process writing using visuals from The Telegram was a favourite for one of the grade six teachers. The other grade six teacher has used The Telegram for visual perception activities in Art whereby the students would cut out a picture from The Telegram, then cut it in half. The students had to draw in the section that was missing and help blend it in with proper shading so it would look natural. They have also used it for Social Studies when studying bias. They had to find pictures of bias in the paper. This also encouraged them to look more critically at details. The Criteria F teacher also uses it help expand her students vocabulary. The Word of the Day is read and discussed daily. It is then posted in the classroom and the student is challenged to incorporate that word/words into his daily conversations.
The French immersion stream also receive The Telegram daily and complete many of the previous activities listed but used French language for the write ups or adapt it slightly to meet their outcomes. The grade three FI Teacher also uses it for reading material during GREAT time reading. They also use The Telegram as a means to enhance the letter-sound combinations of the week. For example, once per week the teacher has the children search the headlines in the paper to find other words with the same sound as the sound of the week that they are studying. The children then cut out the words that contain the sound and glue them on a sheet of construction paper. At the end of the period the children get a chance to share all the words they found with their classmates as an oral presentation. They also use it to enhance their alphabetization skills – children are asked to find and cut out at least 10 different words from the headlines. Once this is completed, they are asked to arrange these words alphabetically and stick them to a piece of blank paper. As well the teacher uses it to increase visual literacy skills. Children are asked to cut out interesting photos from the newspaper and write their own story about what they think is happening – in FRENCH!
The Newspapers in Education is a worthwhile resource to have in the school and is utilized at this school to assist many teachers in achieving the outcomes. We at Goulds Elementary would like to thank all the sponsors for making this program possible and so accessible.
Submitted by Trina Russell, Special Needs and NIE Teacher Coordinator
An important component of the Grade 5 curriculum is public speaking. On occasion, my students are asked to peruse a newspaper to find a story of interest. After reading the article, the students share their stories with their classmates. My students especially enjoy hockey, so I get several stories about how the “Senators” are doing or how Montreal (my team) are favouring against the others.
Newspapers can be beneficial towards the “teachable moment”. One story I recall deals with street safety. Our class spent a substantial amount of time discussing the need to obey traffic rules, especially when they are playing on or near a street in their community.
One of my students enjoys Poetry. So much so, that she was intrigued by a poem written in a Memoriam. She asked if it was okay to remove the poem. Her desire was to share it with her Mom. The poem sparked more than her interest, since several copies of that particular poem went home that morning.
Newspapers are a wonderful source of information, especially when each student is fortunate to have a personal copy. The student’s sense of ownership is heard through their public speaking or seen as a collage of ideas which are of a personal interest to them. Several students collaged a Christmas “I Spy” from pictures and articles.
As a teacher, I recommend strongly the world of opportunities available to our students through the use of newspapers. Newspapers, as an educational resource; what a wonderful thought!
Mr. Dwayne Thompson, Librarian and High School English Teacher, as well as the Teacher Coordinator for NIE at Peenamin McKenzie School, also avails of The Telegram both within the Library and in teaching his English courses. Students have access to the newspapers on an on-going basis within the library and Mr. Thompson has noticed a significant improvement in student’s actual usage of the newspapers. In his English courses, Mr. Thompson uses The Telegram for the sharing of stories, poems, and visuals, as well as, to have students identify grammatical errors contained within the newspapers. This allows students opportunities for proof-reading and helps with monitoring and correcting their own spelling and grammar.
Literacy is extremely important for life-long learning. A BIG thank you to the Newspaper in Education (NIE) program provided, free of charge, which offers an opportunity for students to have the written world at their fingertips! We also offer a kind thank you as well to Mr. Dwayne Thompson, (Peenamin McKenzie School’s NIE Teacher Coordinator) and to Mr. Randy Jarvis (Principal). Keep up the fine work and thank you for the tremendous support in bringing newspapers into our classrooms.
Submitted by Penney Ann Martin- Wells, Grade 5 Teacher, Peenamin McKenzie School, Sheshatshiu, NL
Along with our language course, the Grade 6's also use the political cartoons and articles to help highlight other issues and concepts that have been identified in our social studies program. The newspapers provide an endless supply of topics that help to identify the importance of being an active and socially aware global citizen.
In Grade Nine Social Studies, newspaper articles are combined with photographs, drawing and graffiti to produce collages on current events, geography topics and history themes. These are posted for the school population and visitors to enjoy.
Grade Sevens regularly search through the newspaper for updates on local, national and international stories. Political cartoons form the basis of lessons in both Social Studies and Language Arts as media literacy becomes an ever more important part of learning in schools. There are “Crossword Scavenger Hunts” that challenge students to find words and phrases from the newspaper to fit complex clues and solve the riddles posed by the Teacher.
In keeping with Lakecrest’s recycling efforts in general, newspapers are recycled as part of the Home and School Recycling Blitz program. One interesting way in which newspapers sometimes get recycled is as papier maché objects of art.
As you can see, the efforts of NIE sponsors are rewarded by seeing the newspapers they provide being used to challenge the interests, intellect and imagination of students at Lakecrest-St. John’s Independent School.
In grade 7 Social Studies, teachers Barry Peach, Meleny Yetman and Michelle Squires-Dawe, with assistance from Melanie Hopkins, conducted an activity that involved the Bill of Rights. They broke the Bill of Rights down into different categories - democratic rights, legal rights, educational rights, equality rights, etc. Students were put in groups of 4 and were asked to find articles in The Telegram that related to their particular topic. They cut out their articles and put them on bristle board, with their topic title at the top. Students presented their findings to the class, with each person choosing an article to talk about. They also had to tell why they picked it, how it fits in with their topic and if the rights were respected or not. Other students asked questions. This activity took 3 to 5 days to complete.
In grade 5 Mathematics, Anne O'Keefe used The Telegram to enhance the understanding of large numbers. Students were asked to look for articles in the newspaper where large numbers up to billions were used.
For Leo Mackey, in grade 9 Language Arts, The Telegram provided an excellent source of current events which helped to expose students to meaningful issues of real life events and helped to stimulate discussion, thought and writing.
The first unit of the grade 6 French curriculum called "Soyons Branches." (Let's Get Connected") deals with newspapers, magazines and the different parts of a newspaper or magazine. For the final project, under the direction of their teacher, Judy Hoyles, students put together a newspaper or magazine of their own. Many grade 6 students are unfamiliar with reading newspapers, so first the class took time to go through The Telegram together, looking for the different parts; for example, news, sports, business, classifieds, and weather, etc. Then the students were given the French vocabulary on the parts of a newspaper in French and using a newspaper, they had to find the pages for all the parts they had learned. Frequently, students actually stopped and read the articles. Bonus!!
For Ann Doran White, the grade 6 Science teacher, The Telegram was an invaluable resource for meeting some of the outcomes. For the unit entitled "Diversity of Life" students looked for articles that pertained to the changing environment, how these changes affected habitats and how organisms adapted to these changes. This made for good discussion and helped make the Science curriculum more relevant and meaningful for students. For the unit on "Space", students were asked to look for pictures of the phases of the moon. Earlier this year, students were able to read about the lunar eclipse and view detailed pictures of the event, which really helped with their understanding of what was happening. Newspapers also provided up to date information on current space missions, which added greatly to students' interest level.
In technology, past issues of The Telegram were used by Mr. Littlejohn for a grade 6 technology project. Pages were rolled to make tubes which were used to construct Geodesic Domes.
In Art class, Meleny Yetman used the newspapers to make Papier-mâché, which the grade 7 students used to make identity masks. She called the project "What's Inside my Head?" Students would paint over the mask to illustrate their hopes for the future, for the world as well as what was important to them. A great way to recycle our newspapers!
So, as you can see, the teachers of St. Francis have certainly taken advantage of the Newspapers in Education (NIE) Program in a big way.
Submitted by Ann Doran White, Grade 6 Science Teacher