A Classroom Newsletter Developed and Produced By Students
The purpose of a classroom newsletter produced by students themselves is twofold; one, it provides an opportunity for consistent communication with parents on classroom happenings and two, it allows students to see reading and writing in a fun and positive light! Fiona Ingram, Suite101 contributor, provides an excellent guide for developing your own classroom magazine.
To keep students engaged, Ingram suggests that newsletter content be derived from their interests. Therefore the production could contain a menagerie of items, not unlike a real newspaper, or focus on a specific topic such as sports, fashion, fun field trips, etc. The main idea is that each student researches and produces content that is meaningful to them.
Once a topic has been chosen, the class should submit and then vote on appropriate articles, editorials, cartoons, photos, etc. to include in the magazine. Each piece should then be assigned to a specific student or team of students to complete. With your help, deadlines for research, drafts, and polished copies should be decided and passed out to each student. Because there will be limited space, students will learn to problem solve and compromise throughout production.
Along with lessons on proper grammar, sentence structure, research methods, etc., this project provides a great opportunity to reinforce the importance of crafting unique and original content and discuss what plagiarism is, as well as, the proper way to give credit for ideas. Overall, creating a classroom magazine will inspire a sense of accomplishment, promote the importance of reading and writing, and help students learn to collaborate with others. As stated before, if this project is a positive experience for students, you may consider putting out a monthly classroom edition for parents!