Throughout the first semester, I have taken on creating and deciding on the contents of my class’s weekly Newsletter.
After Spring Break I decided to give my fourth graders the opportunity to create and design the Newsletter. I was surprised by the enthusiasm of the group of ten or so students who volunteered to take this on. As there were many of them we put them in two groups. The first group were to create the first Newsletter and the other the next week’s. They spent their recess working and made sure they collaborated with each other, giving each other roles and getting it developed.
All I had to do was engage our Innovation and IT teacher who set them up with a graphic design tool they could use. They shared it with me and got on with the work, missing a number of recesses to get the job done. Their Newsletter has relevant information, they remembered all the different activities and events and chose the ones they wanted to share with their parents.
This shows maturity. Volunteering and wanting to miss their recess to work on this project was really impressive. On my part, I realized that the students were ready to take this on, although I was skeptical, I let go. I believe there is so much they learned from doing this, team work, writing, editing, choosing appropriate photographs and even the talk around developing it.
As an observer, I was truly impressed with the know how, coordination and reliance on each other. I continue to learn that we have to give students opportunities to learn or fail, then they will be able to apply this to all other situations.