Plan now for Constitution Day: Teach the First Amendment

Teachers can prepare now to teach the First Amendment as part of Constitution Day on Sept. 17 with the materials and ideas below. Many teachers incorporate First Amendment instruction into their curriculum on a weekly basis by using news articles to discuss First Amendment issues. In Peter Paccone’s classroom, every Monday is “First Amendment Monday.” The San Marino High School social studies teacher encourages students in his U.S. government classes to look for news stories and editorials...  Read More »

Mini-grants give classrooms premium access to Checkology — a news literacy e-learning platform

The News Literacy Project is offering teachers a new cutting-edge e-learning platform and first-rate resource for the classroom. The Checkology™ e-learning platform incorporates many of the best practices in e-learning, including self-pacing, blended and experiential learning, personalization, rich formative assessment, and student challenges….just to name a few. “We decided to create the platform because the demand for news literacy programming and resources across the country is great a...  Read More »

Citizens around the country promote open government during Sunshine Week

Across the country, citizens are celebrating access to public information during Sunshine Week, March 13-19. The goal of Sunshine Week is to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Here are just a few highlights of Sunshine Week planned during the week all over the country: On March 12, the Chicago Headline Club, Loyola University Chicago and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation are hosting the fourth annual FOIA Fest at Loyola University Chicago’s...  Read More »

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Put your publication or school on the map

Ever since Staley, another high school in our North Kansas City School District, got a Geofilter, Oak Park students have been really salty, aka upset. During the summer I considered making a geofilter, but I never got around to it. When school started again, all I heard about was Staley had one and we didn’t. A couple weeks into school that changed. I learned how to make a Geofilter! I talked to a group of friends; and I sent them a few different samples. Based on their input, I made some tweaks, but I didn’t end up using any of the drafts. Instead, I created a whole new one. The process of making the filter was actually pretty simple: I searched YouTube with “how to...  Read More »

Let the games begin!

Building trust and forming a team isn’t easy, but it’s important in the first weeks of school to do so with your journalism staffs. One way to get your staffs acclimated to one another is with time-tested, physics confuzzling, oxygen-depleting “Minute to Win it” games. These games, based on the old television series, are played with regular household items. First Break your staff into teams. Second Decide one player game OR relay race. If relay race, no need to time for one minute. The first team done wins. Third Select your games. Last year, my editors selected the following games to play: 1. Junk in the Trunk. What you’ll need: a belt, ping-pong balls, and a rectangle Kleenex box. ...  Read More »

News Doesn’t Take a Summer Break

Gone are the days of waiting until almost October for the first edition of the school newspaper. Nationwide, schools are using tools available to today’s journalism staffs to stay ahead of the game. For some, that means creating content during the summer break. “This year was the first year we wrote summer articles,” Nina Raneses of Potomac High School’s The Wire in Alexandria, Va., shared. “We only had three or four, but it featured some things students were doing over the summer.” Raneses and other more experienced staff members also plan to hit the ground running as the school year starts Sept 6. “We have an orientation day with a pep rally and campus tours, so we pl...  Read More »

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