2007-2008 Student Achievers
Student Achievers, September 2007
Macdonald Drive Elementary, St. John's
Macdonald Drive Elementary School in St. John’s has been an active participant in the Newspapers in Education Program for several years. Some of the activities that students in K-6 use on a regular basis are:
|►||Daily reading time at all grade levels.|
|►||The Weather page is used in Social Studies for the Weather Log activity in the Primary grades.|
|►||Headlines are used to spark topics of conversation as part of the daily routine at all grade levels.|
|►||Sudoko puzzles and crosswords are used daily in the Elementary classes.|
|►||Recycled newspapers are used in Art projects for all grades.|
|►||Student Reporters share an article of interest to them from the previous daily paper in the Elementary classes.|
|►||Math activities – finding large numbers is a great activity for K-3.|
|►||For writing activities, Elementary students respond critically to an article of interest to them on a regular basis.|
|►||Using The Telegram is a fantastic resource for the Elementary Media Unit – use of advertisements, headlines and captions.|
|►||Newspaper Scavenger Hunt – searching for specific things in the newspaper – is used at all grade levels.|
|►||The newspaper is a great resource for creating collages at all grade levels.|
|►||At the Elementary grade level the newspaper is used in talking about Corner Brook and the pulp and paper mill.|
The positive benefits of the NIE program are evident to many of the regular classroom teachers who witness the delightful interactions which take place every day with our special needs students.
One of our NIE teachers recognizes that there is "a great deal of social skill building happening. What once was an insecure response on the part of the disabled student, has now been replaced by a confident one.”
Another NIE teacher tells us that "I appreciate what the mainstream students learn from this program. Each time a special needs student comes to my classroom, my students enthusiastically say ‘Good Morning’ and chat back and forth. My students are given the opportunity to open their hearts to students who are very different from them. Hopefully, these few minutes of daily interaction will go a long way in helping my students become more accepting of others."
Our special needs teacher highlights the fact that her students “eagerly volunteer to be the one to deliver The Telegram should our regular delivery person be absent from school that day. They dearly love getting the chance to go to the regular classes and announce the hot news story of the day. Discussing current events gives our special needs students something relevant to talk to others about, giving them much needed self-esteem.”
The NIE program at Gonzaga High School continues to provide us with a positive, supportive environment for our students to meet established objectives and outcomes of their curriculum at every level, in all subject areas, and for students of all levels of ability; including our students with academic challenges and exceptionally able students.
Thank you to The Telegram for making this valuable program available to our school.
Editorial Cartoons (Junior/Senior High)
Editorial Cartoons are studied in relation to their effectiveness and accuracy. The resource unit provided by The Telegram on Editorial Cartoons fits into this unit very well. Students study techniques used to create Editorial Cartoons as well as appropriate topics. As a form of assessment, students then create their own Editorial Cartoons based on a specific set of criteria.
Bulletin Board News (Junior/Senior High)
A bulletin board display is available in the English classroom where current, interesting news stories are posted frequently. Students can read, at a glance, the latest news stories, as well as interesting photos, Editorial Cartoons, and other noteworthy news from The Telegram.
Letters to the Editor and Editorials (Junior/Senior High)
Students read Letters and Editorials which are relevant to current issues. The format for these are studied and used as a guide for students to write their own letters to the editor and editorials.
Visual Text (All Grades)
A variety of visuals throughout the newspaper are continuously used to study the elements of visual text. These are studied based on type, effectiveness, audience, and purpose as well as other elements. These are also used to help students become more creative writers of speech balloons and captions.
Speaking (All Grades)
Newspapers are used to help students choose topics for classroom presentations. This includes speeches, research presentations, debates and impromptu speaking activities.
Newspapers are used by students to create Healthy Living collages. Students work in pairs or groups and find pictures or news stories about healthy living which they cut out and group to make a collage. This could be done in categories which could include foods, activity, health care, disease, etc.
Scavenger Hunts (All Grades)
Scavenger hunts can be well prepared or compiled at a moments notice. Students are asked to find stories or items in specific parts of the newspaper. This ensures that students are reading the paper and are learning to locate various sections of the paper with ease. Students will at the same time learn appropriate vocabulary for use with the newspaper. The Telegram has an excellent resource available on this.
100 ways to use The Telegram (All Grades)
This is another fabulous resource available through The Telegram which students really enjoy. It has ideas for scavenger hunts as well as many other activities. A favourite at our school has been Survivor NIE Style.
Election Talk (All Grades)
The Telegram was in invaluable resource during the month of September when preparations for the provincial election were underway. A bulletin board was created in a primary classroom with photographs of party leaders and daily updates on the status of the campaign trail. Older students were assigned reading to follow events. A vote was taken on election day by high school students to compare results of the actual election.
Writing Assignments (All Grade)
Newspapers have been a wonderful teaching tool when it comes to teaching students to write classified ads, obituaries, news articles, etc. It also provides easy access to highlights of our province such as the full page photo when the Gushue Team won the Gold medal at the Olympics, the full page visual explaining the new Pitcher Plant symbol for our province, and the full page visual detailing all electoral districts in Newfoundland and Labrador.
This idea is incorrect as The Telegram plays an integral role in the delivery of various curriculum. The Telegram administers a "Newspapers in Education" program providing schools with copies of their newspaper for use in the classroom.
The Telegram is used by teachers in a variety of subjects in the junior and senior high programs.
In grades 7-9 the students use the newspaper primarily in the Social Studies program. It takes the form of reading the paper to look for and discuss items related to particular topics that come up in the curriculum. Students cut out stories and discuss their importance, especially as it relates to Newfoundland and Labrador. The curriculum could cover Newfoundland's journey into Confederation and The Telegram could provide a story about Danny Williams and his fight to ensure we continue to be equal partners in Canada. In this way newspapers provide real examples of what is discussed in the texts. Students might also use newspapers for posters and other visual assignments.
The junior high students will sometimes use the newspaper in their English programs. The students can look through the newspaper for information and use it as a guide for various types of writing; an obituary for example. It is highly beneficial to allow students to read as many articles as possible before they begin their own writing. This exposure to a variety of writing styles helps the students learn to be better writers.
The Telegram is also used in the senior high program at our school. It is used for more specific assignments: mock applications for real jobs which are posted; using advertisements for analysis and as examples of how to write their own advertisement; and editorials as models for writing.
The senior high students also use newspapers in the World Geography course. After studying tsunamis and earthquakes, they have looked through newspapers to find examples of these. They can then share their research and use the facts gathered to help prepare for the public exam in June.
It has become obvious that the teachers and students of Gill Memorial Academy find The Telegram an invaluable tool for reinforcing material taught and allowing students to see real examples of these concepts.
Grade six students at the school play an important role in the program by daily delivering newspapers to classrooms in the school. A system has been devised whereby each grade six class takes a turn in distributing the newspapers throughout the school. After the initial information session in September - orientating the students to the process - students eagerly took ownership of delivering the newspapers. One student stated, "It makes me feel responsible and important." Teachers agree. "The students love the opportunity to visit other classrooms in a leadership role", commented one teacher.
The manner in which the students at the school interact with the newspaper is as varied and diversified as the student population itself. Students use The Telegram as a source of information and entertainment. Some students love to browse the paper looking for stories and articles of interest that connects to them personally. "I like to see if there are any stories about Gander in the newspaper," was the response of one student. "It helps me understand what is happening in our province and the world."
Many students love the Sudoko puzzles and crosswords. A student in grade 6 said, "The puzzles are sometimes hard, but it helps me with my problem solving." Another student favourite is the sports section. One student stated," The stuff about sports is really up-to-date. During Minor Hockey Week they had pictures of teams from Gander."
Teachers also see the value in daily editions of the newspaper being delivered to their classrooms.
"One student in my class, who was not an avid reader at the beginning of the school year, has increased her interest in reading due in large part to the newspapers in our classroom. It began when she found a local news story of major interest to her - she was hooked! Each day she looked for follow-up articles about the news event."
Many teachers incorporate the newspapers into the curriculum, particularly in social studies and math. Students enjoy using the newspaper as part of their class activities. The newspaper demonstrates the connection between their learning and the world around them.
The Telegram is an integral part of the daily educational activities at Gander Academy.
We started out with a unit on ecology and the environment. I would generally hand out a couple of days newspapers to each student at the start of a class and ask them to peruse the paper looking for any stories related to our topic. This encourages them to read and think about what they are reading and how it could be related to class. They would share what they found with the rest of the class and discuss the news item connections to our unit. I was pleasantly surprised at the thinking and connections made in the ensuing discussion. The events in the local oil, forestry, farming, and manufacturing industries, waste disposal, offshore foreign fishing, recycling, fires of any kind, our use of animals, etc., became events connected to the classroom topics. The list of news stories that they could relate class work to went beyond my expectation.
We are currently doing a unit on weather and climate. I introduced the topic using the “News on the Go” pages of weather information and map. Students again were able to speculate as to a possible weather related factor in most stories. Not only the obvious storm stories, but traffic accidents, outdoor events, municipal budgets, helicopter forced landings, Mile One stadium finances, etc. are some examples where a possible weather influence played a role.
I can summarize by saying that last year I used the papers in a larger class and specifically assigned articles and gave questions to direct the students reading. This year I have a smaller group so the more open approach was tried. I like it better as it gets the students to read more in looking for related articles, encourages more thinking on their part, and (most importantly!) involves less initial preparation on my part.
Submitted by Arthur Mercer, Science Teacher
Along with raising awareness and encouraging reading, The Telegram is an educational resource for helping teachers to cover some of the curriculum objectives for the English Language Arts program. The Telegram is regularly brought to the classroom to have students engage in reading. It is also a great way to help students learn how to read and analyze information articles which have become an integral part of standardized tests, such as Criterion Referenced Tests. Writing and interpreting news articles is a skill students are expected to understand. In addition, it can be used as a reference for teaching proper paragraphing, effective organization, and powerful word choice. It can also be used to help students identify parts of speech, conventions, and literature terms such as imagery, fact, opinion, main idea, 5Ws & H, and so on. Also, it has great visuals that accompany the stories, and visuals are now an integral part of all the English courses. Students have that opportunity to connect visuals with stories and sometimes the visual may be more captivating and entertaining than the story. Furthermore, bringing newspapers into the classroom offers the opportunity to have students participate in group work, which is an essential life skill and more importantly, it is usually a lot of fun.
In a high school Ethics course one period of everyday academic cycle is designated as a “Telegram Lab Period” where students have to find an issue in The Telegram that deals with any ethical concern. They have to summarize the article, analyze the critical concerns, discuss the impact on peoples’ lives, and decide whether or not they liked the outcomes. All these questions with the student’s chosen article must be passed in to the teacher by the end of class. Thus, analyzing the articles from an ethical standpoint becomes part of the course evaluation, it brings relevant issues to the classroom, and it allows students the choice to choose their article which injects more engagement from them towards the subject at hand.
It is sincerely appreciated by the staff and students at our school that The Telegram is supplied to our school free of charge. If this were not the case, then we might not have the opportunity to avail of its educational content. From all the staff and students of Smallwood we thank the staff of The Telegram for providing us with such a valuable resource in our classrooms.
As a High School we work to transition our students into the world after graduation. NIE has played an important role in this mission. We currently have a student with autism, Rachel Gordon, who delivers the paper daily to our classroom “subscribers.” This job has helped Rachel develop self confidence and pride in her abilities as she independently sorts and delivers the papers. Our Resource Room teachers use the paper to help students improve their reading and comprehension skills while becoming more aware of the world in which they live.
Many of our teachers have been integrating The Telegram into their daily lesson plans. Career Planning teachers have found them to be an invaluable tool in guiding students to discover job opportunities and availability. The classified ads have enabled students to explore issues surrounding accommodations and the buying and selling of various items.
The Serial Stories published in The Telegram twice a year has been very popular among students and staff. These serial stories are used by several different basic reading classes. The students who read these serials are always eager to receive the latest edition of the paper so they can read the next chapter of the novel being presented.
Social Studies teachers use their papers to explore what is happening in our province, country and world from day to day with a focus on current affairs, political happenings, environmental concerns, justice issues and political cartoons.
One of our science teachers has created a display of “Science in the News” in which she displays any articles which present science related topics. Currently the display is in the science classroom but in the near future it will be moved to a display cabinet in the hall.
Our English teachers use the paper for a unit in Creative Writing which focuses on news stories, editorials and features. As well they have been using The Telegram for writing samples and analysis activities. They refer to stories in the paper throughout the year and respond to many of them in the journal portion of the course.
In Human Dynamics the students are taking part in a project dealing with buying and selling stocks. They use The Telegram to check stocks on a daily basis. The students are put into teams and will follow the prices of the stocks daily for about a month and then monthly until the end of the year.
All students at Menihek have the opportunity to read the newspaper on a daily basis. The paper is prominent in a large number of classrooms as well as the library. The provision of The Telegram has allowed our students the opportunity to see and experience the world outside of Labrador West.
The students and staff at Menihek High School would like to take this opportunity to thank the Newspapers In Education sponsors, The Telegram and Dave Locke for providing the newspapers and NIE resources, free to our school. A special thank you also goes out to Roy Andrews who delivers the newspapers to the school each day.
In today’s educational system we as teachers are always on the lookout for resources that enable us to reach out to students by tapping into their area of interests. The Telegram serves that purpose at our school as students use the paper to directly participate in a variety of learning activities as well as providing enrichment activities for students who are in need of extra challenges.
Our school utilizes the paper in a wide variety of ways. The papers are delivered to each classroom every morning and each class has a unique way of utilizing them. The Grade Five’s for example use sports stats to develop math problems, they used the daily forecast to complete weather charts during a science unit on weather, as well as using the paper’s pictures, maps, graphs and diagrams for visual literacy lessons. The Grade ones regularly search for sight words and complete cooperative scavenger hunts. The Grade Three’s really enjoy matching pictures to the most appropriate captions and having their teacher read the weekly stories.
The paper also provides our Grade Six students with the opportunity to have their eyes opened to the global issues that affect everyone and the role they can play in addressing these issues. Letters to the editor allow our students to explore our role as citizens and to develop an appreciation for our ability to affect positive change in society. Its opinion’s and letters to the editor create a foundation that informs and empowers, thus leads to opportunities for further research, debate, letters, and reports.
These formal activities are also complemented by the informal opportunities that students have to explore The Telegram. Students are drawn to horoscopes, comics, sports, weather, movie reviews, etc and as long as they are reading and viewing during their free time they are developing skills that will prepare them for lifelong learning.
Submitted by Mr. Alec Turpin, Grade five home room teacher and NIE Teacher Coordinator
As our students cannot hear what is happening through other media such as the radio, The Telegram has become a vital link for them in accessing current events, a very important part of the Social Studies curriculum at all levels. To name a few, situations such as Canada’s involvement in the Middle East, the US presidential election, and the latest happenings at St. John’s City Hall have all been tracked through The Telegram. Closer to home, Births and Deaths is a section that keeps NSD students in touch with what’s happening closer to home.
Students at NSD have found a public forum in the form of the Editorial pages of The Telegram. Students’ letters to the editor have been published, giving the students an opportunity to express their concerns, suggestions and opinions about their school and current trends in education.
Throughout this year, the Career Development 2201 class has used The Telegram to view various job postings. This enables the students to gain understanding of different employment opportunities available both locally and nationally, as well as insight into the qualifications needed for today’s highly competitive job market. Further, topics of interest pertaining to local business were discussed, such as the St. John’s Board of Trade job predictions for the province. The Business section of The Telegram informs students on local trends in business, the rise of the Canadian dollar in the past year, and the changing price of fuel -- a number of the students are drivers themselves, so this is of real concern!
Each Friday students at NSD take particular interest in the Arts & Entertainment section to check out what is going on in St. John’s. A few times during the year Empire Studios shows a movie with open captions, so the students can also see the dialogue as well as view the action. Therefore, special attention is paid to the movie listings and how many stars a new movie has been rated!
Keeping up with what’s showing and happening is important, as is keeping up with the sports news. The Sports section is very popular, especially among the older students, as they follow their favourite NHL and NBA teams throughout the year. There are some loyal Fog Devil fans, as well, who will miss having a local QMJHL next year.
Every day, the comics are read, and a few adventurous students may try to crack the Jumble word puzzle. When the newspapers have served their purpose, a designated group of students ensure they are properly collected and sent for recycling.
Both teachers and students agree that the Newspaper in Education program has provided many occasions for learning that reach far beyond all those already listed. Deaf students deal with the world in two languages: English and American Sign Language, and work hard to attain fluency in both languages. Reading The Telegram together has opened up countless opportunities for expanding language and developing reading skills while staying on top of the news and the world around us.
Submitted by Ms. Brenda Macdonnell, Teacher Librarian and NIE Teacher coordinator