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My students need 36 reporter notebooks and a dry erase wall calendar to keep track of deadlines. Plus, a few healthy snacks to keep them going while they work on page layout after school.
My students attend an urban high school in a city where the entertainment business reigns supreme. But they are not the children of the industry players; they are the offspring of custodians and service workers. They are bright, hard-working, and curious about the world around them. Many of them are honors students who will go on to well regarded universities. Many of them are involved in sports or clubs.
They have joined the newspaper staff because it allows them to develop a degree of autonomy not found in other classes.
Not only do they develop their writing and speaking skills, they develop sound judgment and ability to work as a team -- skills that will serve them well later in life.
It's hard to interview a student, an athlete, or an administrator standing in a hallway balancing a large notebook. Journalists use narrow spiral notebooks that can be held easily in one hand to facilitate note taking. They also fit nicely in a pants pocket, so it is always on hand whether student journalists are in between classes, at nutrition, lunch, or after school.
I tell my students they must always be ready for breaking news; that means always having their notebook on hand.
Once my students pass a test on the Elements of News, they are given a reporter's notebook and formally welcomed to the class. I do periodic classroom checks to see if they have the notebook on their person.
Using the same notebooks that professionals use makes my students take their job more seriously. The school does not order these types of notebooks because they are not part of the inventory. They can also be hard to find at office supply stores if my students want to purchase their own.
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|Ampad Reporter's Notebook 4x8", Gregg Ruling, White, 70 Sheets/Pad • Quill.com||$20.65||3||$61.95|
|AT-A-GLANCE WallMates Self-Adhesive Dry-Erase Weekly Planning Surface, 18" x 24" (AW5030-28) • Quill.com||$22.52||1||$22.52|
|KIND Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt Bars, 1.41 oz. Bars, 12 Bars/Box • Quill.com||$18.69||1||$18.69|
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