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Each year, the second grade classes read “The True Story of Balto” and then research about Balto and his dog sled team, the towns in Alaska, the people involved, and the diphtheria outbreak. The students learn how authors write to entertain, inform, or persuade, and they practice writing with those three purposes. They also listened to current and historical news reports and learned the characteristics of reporting. Each second grader was then assigned a part in their class’ news broadcast as a character from the book, a person from that event, or have a role in the newsroom, and they began writing their own script for their part. Once their written part was completed, students practiced their lines and gathered or created props for their performance.

For this year, we decided to try out the green screen and the ability to place students in any location or time period. The students stood in front of the green screen to record and read their scripts for their part of the news broadcast. They wore heavy jackets if they were going to be standing in a blizzard for their report, or they brought along dog food and dog bowls for their commercial to help sell their product. And just like in an actual news program, we had students holding up cue cards for our actors to read from.

After we had each recording finished, we uploaded their video from the iPad into the WeVideo program. The students were able to help pick out which background they wanted to be placed in front of. We had students in the middle of a blizzard, at a train station, in a doctor’s or mayor’s office, in a 1900s home, and more. They have really enjoyed seeing themselves in different places and knowing that they never even left school!

Our objective this year with technology and computer science is to focus on supporting innovation within the classroom. One way this is done is through collaborating with teachers to enhance projects through the use of technology.

~ Mrs. Miller, Educational Technology Teacher

The second graders will be sharing their news programs with their parents during their Wax Museum on March 29th.