It is true what they say that you’re only as smart as the company you keep. The statement is especially true in the classroom. My students are constantly inspiring me and coming up with great ideas. Sometimes they will take an assignment and make it ten times better than I ever imagined. That is how our student led weekly announcements post came to life.
During one morning discussion, my students asked if we had a school newspaper and started talking about how we need one for each grade. Right away my teacher brain started turning…How great! The students can write a newsletter or newspaper to parents and share their own learning. I usually write a monthly newsletter sharing our learning and upcoming assignments, but now the students can take it over. Why didn’t I think of that? Excited and triumphant, I announce to students that I want to start this great idea.
Unfortunately, my students hated it! Apparently I had missed what they were really asking. They wanted a place to discuss and share their personal victories and announcements. My students were craving a space where they could share things that mattered to them. What they did over the weekend, if their team won the soccer tournament, the next big vacation they’re going on; these are the things they wanted their classmates to know. We needed a place in class to “announce” those things and that was how our student led weekly announcement page was born.
Creating a Student Announcements Page on your Class Blog
Each week one student is assigned to be the Collector. I have a schedule hanging in the classroom so students know when it is their week to be the Collector. They really look forward to this and they take the job very seriously! This student collects all the announcements from the other members of the class. Once the Collector has all the information, they create a blog post showcasing everything that went on in and out of the classroom that week. Our class posts the announcement page on Fridays and it usually looks something like this:
Brenan won his soccer game.
Ella got a new puppy!
Emily went to Disneyland to celebrate her birthday.
Alex was elected for the junior Olympics swim race.
Ariela is joining her dance competition team.
Our announcements page is our most popular post and always the most commented on. My students love to ask questions, congratulate each other, and make connections with their peers. Creating a space on your blog for students to make announcements and share their victories has given my students a voice, made our class blog more relevant and student focused, and given students ownership of information and how they share it.