Tuesday, January 16, 2018

We Are Telling Our Story

This blog post has been requested by my seventh-graders. "Ms. Haseltine, a lot of people follow you on Twitter, right? A lot of people read your blog? Will you write about us?" How could I say no to that?!?!

One of the classes I teach is an elective, Communications, and this year our class has created an original news show for our morning announcements. 

Our first show.

I confess that I had no idea where to begin, so our amazingly creative IFT (Instructional Facilitator for Technology) joined us and helped us find a beginning.

We jumped in on December 4th and we haven't looked back since! Students pick their assignments and create new and interesting news segments. They take their phones and find places around the building and then they film themselves. Each day there's a producer who takes all of the segments and edits them together.

What they create...I can't believe it! It's all done by the students. Filmed, edited, produced...all by students. Today we will share our nineteenth show with our school and we can't wait!

It's proof that students have a story to tell. My job is to provide support and sometimes guidelines, but my most important job is to encourage them to take risks and try something new! The energy that bubbles up when new ideas are floated is amazing. They are applying problems solving skills on a daily basis. Their solutions are rarely my solutions...often they are better.

This is what school should look like. Students creating a final product that's shared with the world. Students telling their story, in their way, with their words. Students solving problems and finding new ways to do things. This is what communications class looks like.

Last week, I had students bring in extra resources to use with our broadcast and another student created real news badges on her own. They are owning this project and making it their own. I can't wait to see where we go next!

Now that the news is up and running like a well-oiled machine, we are ready to tackle our next project...passion projects. Their assignment: Change the world.

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.


  1. This is great -- student voice and agency, and a real audience. (and now, an expanded audience out here). I'm going to bookmark this to think about our school. We have sixth graders go on morning television to run the school welcome, but they don't do video segments. That would be cool.

  2. As an aside, my middle son is a high school senior, involved in his communications class, which airs a weekly 30 minute television show. He and his friend do a funny segment each week. Here is last week's piece, about resolutions:
    It's a great experience.

  3. Isn't it amazing what kids can do, when given the freedom! We are about to start passion projects too- I love your assignment to change the world! I have no doubt they will! Now I would love to read their blog post about the same topic.

  4. I could not love this more!!! I am so inspired by you and absolutely love that your students so badly want to tell their stories that they have simply run with it. Bravo!!

  5. I am so glad they pushed you to write about them! Tell them I am so inspired by what they are doing!! I so agree with your line: This is what school should look like. Students creating a final product that's shared with the world. More and more, I am finding the standards I am to teach to so limiting and when I provide choice, students are empowered and rise! I can see why you enjoy your job so much! Keep having fun with these amazing kids!

  6. I am CONFIDENT Danielson's Professional Development Rubric would call this request and your writing a 4++++++ They pushed you and your impact on their writerly lives is clear! You are amazing!!!

  7. Instant connection with your post, as we have fifth graders doing broadcast each morning--live! We have anchors, a special reporter, meteorologist on camera, with a director, teleprompter, sound tech, and videographer behind the scenes. We have two sets of anchors, special reporters, and videographers so they can prep their scripts a week ahead (knowing there may be changes each morning). It's amazing what kids can do, provided training and equipment!

  8. This is real-world learning! We also have a morning show that is produced, written and filmed by students. This is one of those school things that they will always remember! Keep going kids and Mrs. Haseltine!

    1. On a side note - I LOVE that typewriter! I told my husband to be on the lookout for one at auctions and antique stores. It doesn't have to work; I just want to own one!

  9. Kudos to your students who are telling their stories in a meaningful, authentic way! They have taken ownership of this project because their audience is authentic and they see the value in what they are doing. All students should get to experience school this way. (And kudos to YOU, Michelle, for providing the guidance. They are working with the best!)

    Milwaukee, WI

  10. I love this! You put your trust in your kids and look at what they can do! Your school's motto is being played out in your communications class. What a great model to the whole school!

  11. Loved watching this! My favorite part was the moment of silence. Is that observed every day? It's exciting that your students get to tell their story, in their way, with their words. What a gift this class is to them and how lucky they are to have you as their encourager!

  12. Fabulous. Loved this post.

  13. Nice work encouraging and supporting your students to succeed.


Please share your thoughts. I love comments!