Even though school is closed and learning is being done remotely, Franklin Fourth Graders are still taking a serious approach to their learning.
Mrs. Meucci provided her students with a list of optional projects for them to do as part of their technology lessons, and student Sydney Kellander decided to create a one-page on-line newspaper. Mrs. Meucci shared Sydney's newspaper on the Franklin Bedtime Stories Facebook page, and soon other fourth grade students from all three fourth grade classrooms were asking to be a part of the staff.
The Distance Learning Newspaper is now a weekly publication that involves Sydney as Editor In Chief and 10 other fourth graders serving as Editors for their special sections of the paper. Members of the staff include:
Brain Teaser Editor Mia HogueTechnology Editor Tommy GuentherWeather Editor Verona WilletsAnimal Editor Eva Billingsley Cooking Editor Tessa BrahamSports Editor Brady ParrisWhere in the World Editor Sophie HartSlime Editor Sophia Friday Staff Feature Editor Coulson KozakComic Editor Madelynn Riether
The students participate in a weekly Google Meet videoconference call, led by Sydney, where they share their ideas for their story that week. Stories are submitted to Sydney, who puts the paper together with Mrs. Meucci using Google Sheets. Once completed, the paper is shared via the Facebook page. The paper has expanded to six pages.
The paper is a wonderful combination of stories, puzzles, games, videos, pictures, recipes, things to do, and cartoons--all geared toward kids. The students plan to continue this publication through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
Sydney explained that she decided to create the paper because she loves to write. "It's one of my most favorite things to do. I usually write fiction, but the newspaper enabled me to try writing non-fiction, and I found out that is fun too!" she said. Her career aspirations include incorporating her interest in writing and books, as she would like either to be an author or a librarian.
Her colleagues were also excited about joining the staff. Sophia wanted to be a part of the paper because, "I thought it would be fun as well as a good activity to improve my writing skills," she said. "I know my writing will need to improve when I'm a fifth grader, and this is a great way for me to work on this."
Tessa, who enjoys sharing family recipes in the paper, joined the staff to improve her typing skills. "I also thought this would be a great way to interact with my fourth grade friends since we're not together in school every day," she said.
Madelynn saw the newspaper on Facebook and joined because it "looked pretty cool. I'm happy I did!"
Sydney is highly complimentary of her staff. During the conference call, she thanked Madelynn for sharing her drawing skills for the Murray the Dog cartoon; praised Verona for her weather videos and Sophia for her story about slime, giving her the moniker "Sophia the Slime Scientist."