Archives for September 2008

Term 1 – Day 20

Due tomorrow: Three interviews and one observation.
Also due tomorrow: NHS Lead Transition Quote Story

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Today began with Dani leading a team building activity with the group. It’s another one I’ve never done before, and I’ve heard great things about it.

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After the team-building, we discussed your reading for today, Chapter 4: Find and Angle.

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After our discussion of the chapter, we looked for evidence of angle in two Second Block stories from last year.

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Finally, you had time to work on interviews, observations, 2nd block stories, or Advanced Layouts.

Term 1 – Day 20

You needed time at the start of the hour to finish your Focus on Reporting Study Guide.

Next, we went over your Express Yourself study guide. All of you contributed to the discusison.

Today, we’re talking about Personal Opinion columns. After our discussion, you got into small groups and you came up with a list of Qualities of a Good Personal Opinion column.

We then read Barbie to Baby Einstein – Get Over It and discussed it as a class.

Finally, you transferred your brainstormed ideas for your second stories to Post-It notes and we made a huge list on the board.

Assignment to be completed by Wednesday night: Sign up for your top four ideas on the message board. Be very careful about who you pick for your partner on this assignment.

Term 1 – Day 19

Due Wednesday: 3 interviews plus observations.
Due Monday: Sell ads, get definite answers, and update the spreadsheet.
Due Monday: Second Block Stories

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We started out today by going over the guidelines of your next writing assignment for the class. If you need a copy of them, download them here. Otherwise, I’ve included them as a part of this post.

This assignment is due at the start of the hour on Monday.

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Your task is to tell the story of your second (or fourth if second won’t work) block class using descriptive writing that shows instead of just tells what the class is about.
1. You must be incredibly observant for the next week. Paying attention to what is going on in the class while still looking at it as a writer and an observer. Try to see it from the third-person perspective. The best stories will be by the writers who most successfully remove themselves from their surroundings.
2. Try to push your angle beyond “This class is boring.” Look for what makes this class unique and gives it character unlike any other class in the school.
3. Get only quotes that support your angle.
4. Quotes can be from other places than just interviews. Listen closely to what is being said before, during, and after your class. Talk less and listen more to what is being said around you.
5. Focus on using the most descriptive writing possible. Use more than just the sense of sight when you write. Try to create a story that readers can feel.
6. Try to push the boundaries of the style of writing you used for your first deadline story. See how you can adapt it and make it yours.

Bring a copy of your story to class on Monday and share it with McCallum on Google Docs as soon as it is finished.

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Your second block story will be written in Lead-Transition-Quote format.

We went over the rules of Lead-Transition-Quote format.

This sample sheet will help you as you think about writing your second block story.

This sample from the 2008 Tatanka is an example of both great Lead Transition Quote format and a consistent, solid angle. It was written for first deadline.

You received your Assignment for Wednesday today as well. Get started on it if you’d like.

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We’ll be looking at examples of Second Block stories throughout the week. Keep in mind, these are only examples, not the one and only right way to do this assignment.

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After that, we went out to the courtyard to help the editors set up for th Senior Class Picture. If we get done early or don’t need all of you, you’ll have time to work toward finishing your layouts on the computer.

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Homework for tomorrow: Read “Chapter 4: Find an Angle“. Come ready to discuss tomorrow.

Term 1 – Day 19

Due tomorrow: 12 ideas for stories for the November 6 or November 13 issue of The Hoofprint.

Bring in three ideas for each section: News, Sports, Features, Spotlight, Arts & Entertainment, and Activities.


You began the day by taking a Walk & Talk around the school, going with a partner, a notebook, and a pen/pencil. You looked for story ideas and came back with a small list.

After your walk and talk, you had some time to brainstorm story ideas fro next issue. Each group needs to come up with at least 12 ideas for the paper, three per each section. Ideas cannot include the referendum or the national election. We already have a coverage plan for that.

Once you have your ideas, bring your list home tonight, look closely at it, add to it, and bring it back tomorrow, ready to share with the class. We’ll be filling out Post-Its again and signing up for stories tomorrow.

Original ideas can be claimed early.

Finally, we started getting into our Opinion Column writing unit by reading “Express Yourself” and filling out this Study Guide. You should have the study guide finished by the time you’re done with class. If you don’t, please bring it to class tomorrow and be ready to discuss. Everyone will be called upon to answer.

Term 1 – Day 18

Please dress for going outside on Monday morning.

Today’s agenda:

1. We learned some basic functions of yearbook design in InDesign.

2. You had time to transfer your spreads onto InDesign. We’ll finish these in class on Tuesday.

Term 1 – Day 18

We started the day by outlining the rules of today’s Writers’ Workshop.

Then, you broke into groups of four and shared stories out loud. After that, each group selected one member to read to the class.

Finally, we had 30 minutes of time that you could use however you wanted. You can fix drafts, fill out your final draft evaluation, and make sure you’re folder is up-to-date.

Please have your Final Draft Evaluation completed and in your folder by the end of the block.

Term 1 – Day 17

Get off of computers and sit at a desk.

1. Read three stories from today’s StarTribune.

2. Write a two sentence summary of each story.

3. Explain in one sentence why the story matters.

Be done and ready to share by 9:40.

Fold up your paper and work on your story. It’s due tomorrow at the start of class.

Next, we played a Team Building Activity. It was great.

Finally, you got time to work on your stories – about 30 minutes in all.

We took a couple class pictures today. They’re BIG. Click on the thumbnails to see the full picture.

Class Color Day - Block 2

Class Color Day - Block 2

Class Color Day - Block 2 - Goofy

Class Color Day - Block 2 - Goofy

Class Color Day - Fourth Block

Class Color Day - Fourth Block

Term 1 – Day 17

We started the day by watching to presentations:

1. Trends in Fonts and Color – PowerPoint (web) | Pdf

2. Alternative Copy – PowerPoint | Pdf

Next, we talked about getting a blank InDesign spread and using it with your layout.

Finally, you had time to work and we took a few photos as a class. Click the thumbnail for a larger image. Images are large, so they’ll take a while to load.

Writers and Editors on Class Color DayWriters and Editors on Class Color Day
Class Color Day 2008

Class Color Day 2008

Yearbook Seniors

Yearbook Seniors

Yearbook Seniors - Acting Strange

Yearbook Seniors - Acting Strange

Yearbook Juniors on Class Color Day

Yearbook Juniors on Class Color Day

Term 1 – Day 16

Today was yours. Your stories should be significantly changed from rough drafts in order to even receive a grade as final drafts. Use your time wisely.

Term 1 – Day 16

We started today by reviewing some of the concepts about trends that we covered yesterday.

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Next, we learned one of the biggest and more impressive ways we can improve the Tatanka – Modular Design with the implementation of the Three Degrees of Separation. This is something that Buffalo has never done well, and we’re starting to fall behind the rest of the nation in this respect.

You’ll have your basic layouts with you while we look at these presentations, so you can see how they can be adapted and made into advanced, modular layouts.

If you missed the presentations, please download it in one of the following ways so you can get caught up.

Advanced Design – PowerPoint (Download the PowerPoint – Right Click and select “Save Target As…” or “Save Link As…”)

Advanced Design – .pdf Format (Download it in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format – – Right Click and select “Save Target As…” or “Save Link As…”)

Advanced Design – Web Presentation (Web-based PowerPoint presentation – just left click to view it).

These are all big files that take a while to download. It’s worth it, though. The .pdf version is by far the smallest.

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We’ll be finishing these tomorrow.