Saturday, November 27, 2010

nwpam10 Student Publishing: Students Writing for Real Audiences

In this session the presenters, Pen Campbell, Third Coast Writing Project, David Ragsdale, Red Clay Writing Project, and Catharine Reeve, Southern Arizona Writing Project, discussed how they publish student work outside the classroom.

We began by doing a quick write of how we publish student work. Some of the things I wrote were, Encyclopedia of Student Animals, posting on the wall, Animoto, binding student writing to send home. We also wrote about the challenges of publishing student work. Some of my thoughts were time and money.

Each of the presenters introduced themselves and told a little about their projects. Table groups then discussed some of the challenges of publishing student work. There was a consensus that time and finances were the two major problems.

The presenters spent about 20 minutes with each table group discussing the publications their students produced. David Ragsdale discussed the Odyssey Newsmagazine his high school students publish each month. This magazine looked like something you would pick up off an end cap while waiting in line at the grocery store. It is a beautiful magazine that a lot of hard work goes into. He talked with us about the editing process. As students grow through the Journalism Program they move up the editing ladder.

Pen Campbell showed a couple ways teachers can publish their student work. One was The Wind-Up
school magazine. The other was a poetry book called Poetry Pals. Poetry Pals was a compilation of poems and art produced by fifth and ninth grade students. Each wrote a poem. They sent the poem to the other. The students then illustrated the other's poem. I thought this was a fantastic way to do cross-age instruction.

The final presenter, Kitty Reeve, showed the book Desert Living is Different! An Environmental Guidebook for Newcomers. This is a professionally bound book with full color pictures. The book guides visitors, to Arizona, through the desert. In my opinion, it is a the ultimate student published work.

After each presenter finished we discussed some ideas for publishing with our own students. Some ideas produced were:
  • Cross-age publishing
    • 8th grade/Senior Bullying book
    • Make PSAs
  • Explore something in history in your home town.
    • Publish something on the area.
  • Recipe book
  • School publication
It was suggested that business owners can help with the publishing of a book by writing the forward to a book. For instance, a chef could write something about their line of work in a book of recipes.

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