At the beginning of this school year, I [somewhat reluctantly] began teaching Creative Writing and Journalism. This QUICKLY spawned into a Journalism Department after I decided to make my class a center for authentic tasks through project-based learning. My reluctance went away completely as I began to love teaching this subject and these kids.
How did I do it?
I created an online newsletter called The HighLander and made my kids the staff. I began teaching them how to be reporters, editors, layout artists, photographers, promoters, etc. With each passing week, they bought into it more and more. Staffed with a mix of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students, we have produced something of which we are truly proud.
That pride made its way beyond the doors of Charles Carroll Middle School yesterday when The Gazette ran a front-page article on The HighLander. I have been glowing since the first second I saw my students on the front page of the local paper.