On a different note, we just recently finished up our unit on communities and government. One of the things we spent time discussing during this unit was the news as an outlet for getting information out to people in the community. I already had a "News Center" in my classroom in which I place those delightful "Scholastic News" articles we receive as well as any other interesting articles I find that I think my class may enjoy. (This is a good center for main idea/detail focus).
However, I thought wouldn't it be fun if the kids could begin writing their own news each week and relaying what is going on in our classroom community? Thus- a new center idea was born!
Now when they arrive at this center, the students select a quarter sheet of paper with the heading "¿Qué pasa?" (What's Up?). They share one thing that took place that week in the classroom as well as what they learned from the event or why it was important (I have a little anchor chart handout in the center for them to use to remind them what should be written.). Once they finish their article, they "post it in the news" by placing it on our news wall out in the hallway. Parents and students who visit are then welcome to see our classroom happenings! I am lucky in that I have magnetic walls, so I just have a little container of magnets in the center the kids use to put up their piece. So that the newspaper is constantly up-to-date with the latest news, it is the students' responsibility each week to take down their old news and replace it with their new article.
They love this center. It is short and sweet and a great way for them to reflect on what they have been doing in class. Not to mention- it is a great informal assessment for me to see what they have been learning and enjoying in class!
Click here to download the news article activity sheets. (In English and Spanish).
Also, for those of you who teach bilingual or dual (or maybe just practicing your Spanish), here is a site that was brought to my attention this school year that has news articles in Spanish that are more relevant to kids/teens. Sometimes I print articles from here to put in my news center-