Archives for September 2011

Publications Writing – Week 4 – September 26-30


You began the block by checking in with your editor for your first deadline story, giving them an update on what you’ve done so far, your photo situation, and talking about what you’ll do to make your spread remarkable.

After that, we went over the Second Block Story guidelines as a class and you had time to ask questions.

Then, we went over notes on Lead-Transition-Quote format, which the format in which we write our stories for the yearbook.

At the end of that, you had time to connect with your editors and photographers to work on your upcoming assignments.


We started the block with looking at the Chapter Focus on Reporting and doing a Word Art Activity. If you were gone today, please read the chapter. Thank you.

After that, if there was time remaining, you had time to Uncover Yearbook Style Rules.


We started the day with a short quiz and reflection on Focus on Reporting. If you missed today, you need to respond to these questions:

1. Describe how all six elements of reporting work together when done correctly.

2. How would you define the job of a reporter?

3. What are three things that you need to keep in mind as you begin the reporting process?

After that, we texted in our thoughts on reporting as a group to see what our conclusions are.

Second Block Story Guidelines – Publications Writing

Second Block Story
Due Friday

Your task is to tell the story of your second block class using descriptive writing that shows instead of just tells what the class is about.

  1. You must be incredibly observant, 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. Start within the constraints of a Feature Story and work to adapt the style to make it your own.

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

Journalism 1 – Week 4 – September 26-30


You got a ton of feedback on your rough draft over the weekend. Most of it should help you find a great direction and focus the work that you do for the rest of the week on your story. Please don’t confuse a lot of feedback with doing a poor story.

Here’s the plan for today. If you were gone, the whole agenda is on the slideshow.


You got a great start on your revisions yesterday. Today, you’ll continue fixing and improving your draft. Keep asking yourselves the following questions:

  • Is my story about people?
  • Is my story specific to this school and this year, or could it be about basically anyone?
  • Is my lead active and interesting?
  • Does my story have a clear angle introduced within the first two paragraphs?
  • Did I do research beyond talking to my friends or people in the class?
If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions, then your story will be excellent. Tomorrow, we will not have as much time to work on drafts as we have today and yesterday, so please make the most of your time.

Share your drafts!

Go here to see who to share with!

Share your observations

Publications Writing – Week 2 – September 12-16


Due by today: Sign up for 8 advertising contacts on our Google Doc.

We began the hour by finishing reflecting on the DeWitt Jones video that we started in the Bison Room. You shared the most inspiring quotations about creativity.

After that, you received your story assignments for the year. Please write down everything you are writing, because you will be responsible for keeping up with your topics until they are finalized and sent to Dallas.

Next, you met with your editors for your first deadline stories and they explained to you their expectations or tried to help you get off on the right foot with your research.

McCallum had some things to talk to you about in regards to your first story assignment as well. You received your Story Starter sheet at this time.

Kat explained the first step in Ad Sales to you today.

We closed the day with Yearbook Terminology

Homework for tonight: Your Story Starter.

Homework for next Friday: Make contact with all 8 of your businesses.


We started the hour with instructions on Advertising sales that we didn’t do yesterday.

After that you met with your editors for first deadline to talk through your first assignment and get a firm understanding of expectations.

Next, we started going through Story Starter Sheets and you had some time to get those started.

Finally, we finished Yearbook Terms instruction.

If we had time, we did a great activity. Check in later for an update.


Okay. Terms have taken long enough. We are going to finish them today before doing anything else.  We’ll begin the hour with them and not finish until they’re done. We’ll have a quiz on terms on Friday and we’ll review tomorrow.

After terms instruction, Brittney D. had a few minutes to explain how you will sell ads as a group. She’s prepared packets for each of you that have all the necessary information and enough advertising contracts to sell to each of your businesses if you can do it.

After that, during a major detour, we found Robert Walters. No big deal.

Finally, you got work time.


You guys won’t believe the Robert Walters Update!

We started the block reviewing Yearbook Terms though a fascinating game of YRBKS Bingo!!!! Our quiz on terms is tomorrow, so I hope you feel ready by the end of the time today.

Next, we did a reporting-related activity that I hope you loved.

Finally, we had time.


Today started with a Yearbook Terms Quiz. It’s a thrilling quiz, isn’t it?

Next, if it was dry, we set up the Senior Class Photo.

If it was wet, you guys we started to look at a reading called “Focus on Reporting”. We did an activity as a class with it. Sine reporting is such a major part of this class, please learn all you can about it. If you miss today, please see me to get a copy of the packet, because it’s important information.

After that it was straight work time.

Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next week.

J1 – Week 2 – September 12-16


We started the hour by finishing and presenting your Focus on Reporting posters. The rest of the class took notes as you presented. We will have a short quiz on these concepts tomorrow.

Next, we went over your upcoming deadlines for your first story.

  • Background Research: Due Wednesday
  • Five interviews and observations: Due next Wednesday, September 21
  • Rough Draft: Due next Friday, September 23
  • Final Draft: Due Friday, September 30
  • We took some time to start your background research process.

    Your background research is due on Wednesday.

    Finally, after all of this as done, you did an activity either involving Legos or a visit to the courtyard. We’ll see how the weather looks.

    If we still had time after that, we ended by starting to go through the Hoofprint Writer’s Guide.

    Due Wednesday: Background Research:

    Find out enough basic information about your topic to be able to write thoughtful, open-ended questions and know who to contact for interviews.


    REMINDER: Your background information and research for your first deadline story is tomorrow. Don’t forget!

    We started the day with a short quiz and reflection on Focus on Reporting. If you missed today, you need to respond to these questions:

    1. Describe how all six elements of reporting work together when done correctly.

    2. How would you define the job of a reporter?

    3. What are three things that you need to keep in mind as you begin the reporting process?

    After that, we talked a little bit more about your expectations for research and what you should bring to class tomorrow. You will not have homework beyond your research tonight. Please make sure you give it an honest effort.

    You had some class time at this point to do some research.

    After the class time, we continued Journalism Writing Style instruction. We almost completed it today.


    Your background research is due today.

    We took time and wrote 10 or more interview questions at the start of class.

    The next big due date is to get five quality interviews done by Wednesday, September 22..

    We finished our Journalism Writer’s Guide today.

    Finally, we read a chapter called “Find an Angle” that should help you think about your story and finding the most interesting thing to write about.


    At the start of class today, you worked with a partner to illustrate a Journalism Style rule from the packet we concluded yesterday. You presented to the class at about the halfway point of class.

    After that, we did a brief review of the style manual and filled in any gaps that you may have had in your notes.

    Finally, we did a great activity that illustrated the job of a reporter.

    Tomorrow: Style and Rules Quiz #1!


    Here’s the quiz. Shhh…. don’t tell anyone. Journalism Style and Rules Quiz 1 – 2010

    We started the block with the quiz.

    After that, we took some time to check out the forum as a class and sign up for Google Docs.

    Then we watched a video or two and talked for a bit about awareness and observations.

    After that, we had work time. You guys should all have a great weekend!