Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Leading the Way...One Newscast at a Time!

There is nothing more powerful in the realm of education than the voice of our students. Allowing students to deeply root themselves into the culture of a school by sharing what they are passionate about, enables the school culture to thrive. Prairie View Elementary school does just that with their Leader Vision crew. What started as a club sponsored by a Northwest ISD Education Foundation (NEF) grant in 2018, has grown into a pivotal communication tool for the school.

Every single day, the Leader Vision team, championed by Mrs. Tiffany Dold and Mrs. Jennifer Casey, Prairie View Elementary’s Library Media Specialist and GATES teacher, respectively, sets the tone for great learning through the broadcasting of their completely student-driven newscast. Leader Vision brings the news daily to the kids at our school and keeps them informed of events and opportunities happening on our campus. Teachers come to the team with special announcements or segments to add in. Mrs. Dold believes this program benefits PVE by giving students and teachers ownership of school announcements, making this a relevant source of information for the campus. Mrs. Casey shares that they constantly talk about the habits as part of our Leader Vision group, as expectations to uphold in the classroom, as well as brainstorming ideas for the segment about LIM. Students create content to teach the 8 Habits of Leader in Me on the announcements such as providing examples how to live the Habits, hand motions, and reminders about each habit.

Because of this illustrious morning announcement crew, in one week PVE was able to increase campus DI enrollment by 500%. To ensure that everyone has their voice heard on campus, the team also includes a Language of the Week segment where the Dual Language Hawk Leaders teach the campus Spanish phrases. During Hispanic Heritage month, 2nd – 5th grade Dual Language students created more culture and historical awareness by researching and preparing a report on an important Hispanic person.

So how does this well-oiled machine function so that everyone has the opportunity to listen to the newscast during their Hawk Huddle? Students were divided into teams of broadcasters and given one day of the week to plan and broadcast. The students were given a template to use to plan the broadcasts. Then they collect the information needed (lunch menus, birthdays, campus news, and Habit of the week, etc.) and brainstorm ideas for specific segments. This 9 weeks we are really challenging the kids to draw on their own LIM experiences to add to the broadcast. There are two cameramen/producers that are responsible for setting up the mic, preparing the recording area, using the recording software, editing, and uploading the final broadcast. This process starts with these students preparing the iPad for filming and ensuring that they have created the background image. This year the Leader Vision is using DoInk, a greenscreen app, that allows their students to have full control over what the newscast looks like. The producers record their video, apply the desired background, and export the video to YouTube. The final step of the process is to upload the video directly into the Google Site that is shared across the entire campus. This process seems intense, does it not? The amazing fact is that this group functions so well that all of this happens within the span of about 15 minutes before the final bell rings to start the day of learning. That is efficiency at its finest.

When asked about future goals for the Leader Vision Program, Mrs. Casey and Mrs. Dold shared the following aspirations. Casey expressed that, “We would like to involve more kids in the news broadcast. In the spring, we will hold auditions again to rebuild and train a new crew for our departing 5th graders. Flipgrid helped us to determine a student’s on screen presence and a google form let us know about the applicants and their interest in Leader Vision.” Dold added, “We also have a long term goal of live announcements and a short term goal of pre-recording everyday.”

When we asked these young newscasters what they enjoy about the Leader Vision program the most, one student shared that, “He enjoyed being part of a team that was beneficial to the school and being able to film on the iPad.” Another student shared that her favorite part was “recording and being able to tell students about the lunch menu and birthdays.”

Though this writer may be signing off for now, one thing is for certain; the Leader Vision crew will continue to deliver the news and drive the Prairie View Hawks forward toward success.   

Check out some of their broadcasts below!


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