When Mrs. Porzuczek volunteered her students to launch Brooks School Elementary’s new fourth grade newscast, she recognized that this was more than an opportunity for her students to be “on camera”. The real opportunity was for her students to experience process – the research, planning, revisions, execution, and, most importantly, teamwork necessary to complete a group project with a deadline.
It was this same goal – to foster learning through a student-driven, team-based, multi-layered process – that led Media Specialist Mrs. Kussy to originally envision the newscast.
Focusing on process meant defining an end goal – What type of show did the students want to create? – and then naming the steps it would take to get there. Mrs. P.’s class viewed other student broadcasts and identified the features which made some excellent but some only so-so. The students produced group norms for their endeavor. They learned how professionals tackle the process from HSE’s director of School and Community Relations, Emily Pace-Abbotts, who stopped by to share her experiences reporting for a local TV news channel.
With goals in place to anchor their decisions, and background for the task ahead, the class brainstormed story ideas and narrowed the field. Student groups wrote, filmed, and edited their news stories. Mrs. Kussy led students through the actual filming and editing process. By Friday afternoon (yes, this took place in one week!), the show was ready to air.
Fast forward several months… The Fourth Grade Newscast has become a regular Friday event at BSE. Since Mrs. P.’s students paved the way, BSE’s other fourth grade classes have also produced the show. Working with a team, through a process…then getting to share the awesome product with your school mates…that’s HSE21 in action.