Monday, 11 February 2013

Classroom magazine: Part 2

For the second part of the magazine project, I wanted the students to delve a little deeper into the story. I wanted them to become investigative journalist. For this they would have to do more research and get more involved in the story. 

- Collaboration;
- Research a story;
- Learn something that you didn't know before;
- Investigate the story in more depth;
- Present your research / findings on a Wiki page;
- Write a report of at least 600 words collaboratively;
- Present your research and/or findings in the speaking class.

Classroom magazine part 1 asked the students to write an article by themselves in order to add it to a magazine. Each student contributed 3 articles to it. In part 2, students are asked to collaborate on one single article. 

Step 1
In the same groups as before, the students brainstorm possible stories of interest. As the teacher, I had to help them focus their ideas or even try and help them to go deeper into the story. 

Step 2
When they have chosen a story, the students should brain storm what they want to find out and how they are going to get that information. My students used, questionnaires, interviews, online research etc.

Step 3
One very organised group made task notes for everyone to follow in the group that week. I loved that idea, highlighted it to the other students and asked them to do the same. It really helped not only the students to keep track of their progress but myself included. 

Task notes of one group taken from the project
Step 4
Encouragement! The first week of the project I held daily meetings with each group. I told them I was the editor of the magazine and, therefore, needed to keep track of the progress. I let each group decide their own path, however, I guided them a little, or pushed them when I felt they could do more. 

Step 5
Writing - I told the students they would have to check each other's work and offer help where needed. I also told them that I would help to edit their work. All they had to do was email me and tell me changes had been made.

Step 6
Presentation - When the project was over it was time to present their work to the rest of the class. Each group did a group presentation using their Wiki page or power point slides as visual aides.

Issues - As with any group project there were some problems with group members and 'free-loaders' who didn't pull their weight. The Wiki allowed me to keep track of the progress and then the daily meetings allowed me to note who was contributing to the project. No matter what the problem, I tried my best not to intervene unless
necessary. I wanted the students to work through the problems by themselves. 

In the end, all groups exceeded my expectations. This project became the bench mark for all other projects as the students really utalised all the creative and collaborative tools on it. Probably the best thing is, they taught themselves how to do it. 

Check out the video below for some examples of their work.

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