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EXTRA! EXTRA! Hear all about it!!

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Keywords: Newsletter
Subject(s): Podcasting, Writing, Reading, Photography, English/Language Arts, Spelling, Grammar, Journalism
Grades P-K through 5
School: Highland Elementary School, Sylvania, OH
Planned By: Michele Henson
Original Author: Michele Henson, Sylvania
Each Friday a newsletter goes home sharing with parents all the exciting things that have taken place in our classroom throughout the week. In the past students have gathered in groups, reflected on the various activities we completed and then written short descriptions of what they learned in each subject area. These descriptions were compiled and sent home in a typed newsletter form.
That was the past!
Now given the Tool Factory Podcasting Program, a Digital Camera and our class website the Friday newsletters have come to life.
Step One: Throughout the week as activities are being completed we are sure to capture them using our digital camera. On Friday these pictures are placed in a folder on our computer and saved so they can later be placed in a slide show that is highlighted on our webpage.
Step Two: On Friday the class is broken into five groups. The groups reflect on the activities that took place that week in reading, math, writing, science or social studies and our word wall words. Together they come up with a short script that would best describe the learning that took place.
Step Three: Using the Podcasting Program from Tool Factory the scripts are put into five or six episodes for students to read. The digital pictures that correlate to the episodes are added. This podcast is then sent off to be published.
Note: The Tool Factory Podcasting Program is so easy to use. It makes podcasting simple and an effective tool that all age level students can use!
Step Four: This podcast is now emailed to our parents in the place of our Friday Typed Newsletter. We sent detailed instructions to parents on how to put ITunes on their computers and use this as the source to listen and view the podcast.
Finally: For many of our parents this was still a task difficult for them to manage. We took the podcast a step further. The podcast can now be viewed and listened to on our website. All parents have to do is log on to our class web page and they can listen to the weekly activities as they view the pictures that accompanied the events.
To view a sample of the website log onto www.byow.org.
Search for Henson.
Click on Welcome to Mrs. Henson's First Grade.
The slide show used is from www.slide.com and the podcast was downloaded using Drop.oi.
Note: When viewing and listening to the podcast from the Tool Factory URL the episodes and pictures run as a complete show.
On the website each episode has to be clicked on individually.
We are thrilled with our updated version of the Friday Newsletter. What better way to share with parents about all the exciting, meaningful learning that took place in their childs classroom throughout the week.

Coming soon will be an extension to our podcast newsletter using a the Flip Camera to add a short video clip.
Materials: Digital Cameras, Podcasting, Web Page, Slideshow