Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Creating a Classroom Newspaper: Part 3 of 3

Yay! We're almost there. We've got the classroom newspaper planned and the stories written, edited, and typed. Now, we just need to finish things up.

Day 16: Creating a Dummy. For those who don't know, a dummy is just a representation of what stories will go on what pages. My students sure got a kick out of the fact that it is called a dummy. :-) I created ours on the board with the anchor chart of stories at hand. As a class, we decided what order the sections would go in, and what stories would go on each page.

**Now here is the part where I did take a short cut. I did the layout in the computer myself. Our computer lab at school had already closed for the year, and we were just running out of days in the school year. I used Adobe InDesign and created my own newspaper template, but I have experience doing that. It would work just as well to use one of the premade newsletter templates in Publisher or whatever program you and your students are comfortable in.

Day 17: Proofing. I printed all the pages out and made enough copies so every student had at least one page. I let them loose with highlighters and red pens and told them to mark everything they saw that was wrong or that they wanted to change. Then they traded papers and did the same thing. We did this a few more times, so that each student saw at least 4-5 pages of the paper. I took those marked up copies, made the corrections, and printed out a clean copy.

Day 18: Distribution Discussion. This was a class discussion deciding who we were going to give copies of our classroom newspaper to. I reminded the students about the kinds of people who would want to read the paper. The final list included: the students in my class, the other three fourth grade teachers, the principal, the vice principal, anyone who had a story about them in the paper (this included the specialists, student council sponsor, etc.), the special ed teachers (since we had two special ed students in our class), our language support specialist (I had 12 ESL students who saw her on a regular basis), the reading specialist, and the counselor... all total it was about 50ish copies.

**For printing, I just used the handy dandy copier, printed front to back and stapled to create our finished classroom newspaper.

Day 19: Delivery. This was a very quick day. I sent my students in pairs to deliver to a couple of recipients at a time. As email after email came in praising the kiddos for their newspaper, I made sure to share all the positive responses with them. All the students were so excited to see their work in print and to have so many people give them compliments. In fact, the biggest complaint came from people who were not on the distribution list. Next time, I guess we'll make more copies.


  1. Okay, Rachel, I'm pumped! Excited, apprehensive....scared! I am going to try this. I have a classroom newsletter that I create on my own and send out on a weekly basis-perhaps I'll still do that and just let students write with the newspaper. Thoughts? I have been wanting to do something differently in my teaching and I think this might be it! I am thinking of extending this further into technology/ipads as well. I can record them reading the paper and then send it out to the other teachers in the building or district? Thoughts?.....And will you be available for guidance? :D

  2. Rachel, thank you so much for posting this. I really want to create a class newspaper this year with my 4/5 class. However, I've never done one, and your blog gave me a great start. The only question I have is what computer program can I use to put the newspaper together? I only have the regular Microsoft software or IWork 09 to work with. If it's not too expensive, I could maybe purchase a software if none of these would work. I would really appreciate your advice on a software newspaper template. Cheers. Natalie