Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Third Grade Newscasts

For the past two weeks, one of our third grade teachers and I have been working together to create a class newscast. We set an ambitious goal, and it has been a lot of work, but I just can't wait to see how it turns out! With help from one of the parents who is a television producer, we set up a production outline, and then with the class he brainstormed categories and ideas. After a field trip to our local high school's video production class, we engrossed ourselves in research for our news segments.

Each news category has a researcher, producer, editor, camera person and on air talent, and the roles will be rotated each month. The students are really taking their jobs seriously and are excited to be a part of the process. We were able to travel to the local library for a live interview and have contacted our school board via email to obtain accurate information for another segment. We held a name and logo contest and the winning entry was made into a poster that hangs behind the anchor desk.This week has been full of script writing, practicing and taping. Our producer parent returned to help us set up the taping studio and he offered some great advice, like writing down what each take is about and whether to keep it or delete it (when you have over 20 takes a day, this is essential), using Power Point as a teleprompter (so valuable!) and taping in short clips for ease in editing. We also discussed using Photo Story so the students could add in pictures with voice overs in a format that was easy for the editors to work with.

I have been so amazed at the wonderful suggestions the students come up with to improve the taping process. They are critically thinking about what they are doing and problem solving as we go along. We finish taping tomorrow and then the editing begins. Our final product will be linked to our school website for the entire community to enjoy. A different third grade class will start the process next week, with the hope of having two broadcasts per month until the end of school. What a great project this is!


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