Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School fifth graders aren’t just great in science, technology, engineering and math; they can write really well, too.
Fifth graders in teacher Susan Danzig’s class have been working since December with Newsday’s Kidsday editor Pat Mullooly. Their work was published last Saturday and it’s been in the newspaper throughout this week.
Students were given a large variety of assignments, including puzzles, jokes and recipes. Several youngsters traveled into New York City and around Long Island to complete celebrity interviews. The identities of the celebrities needed to be kept confidential until the stories appeared in the paper. Stories and interviews can also be found by visiting http://www.newsday.com/lifestyle/family/kidsday. The STEM students were responsible for developing and editing their questions prior to the interviews.
The youngsters worked as real journalists, meeting with Mr. Mullooly multiple times to sharpen their skills and understand their responsibilities. “They begin by taking an oath as reporters for Kidsday,” Mrs. Danzig said. “Students received T-shirts, pens and ID badges to make them feel like real reporters. The first meeting was all about generating ideas together and deciding what is a good article or not. The second and third meetings revolved around editing and illustrating.”
Some students read yet to be published books and wrote reviews on them. “We had students who reviewed architectural kits and assembled home models,” Mrs. Danzig said. “We were even lucky enough to be able to review American Girl’s newest doll, Gabriela McBride.”
Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School Principal Donna Moro embraced the initiative and praised Mrs. Danzig for arranging to bring it to her classroom and students. “She really does an amazing job with this program,” Ms. Moro said. “It is an incredible experience for our students to be a part in real life journalism.”
The fifth graders took delight in their writing assignments. “This is my third class to complete an edition of Kidsday,” Mrs. Danzig said. “It is always an exciting, yet busy, time of the school year. I am very lucky to have the support of Ms. Moro and all the parents that helped along the way. The students have worked very hard to complete their assignments and they are beyond excited to see them in the issue. I think it shows students that writing can be fun and interesting. One of the things I like best is that once they are a Kidsday reporter they are always a Kidsday reporter. Many of my students have gone on and accepted assignments after they have left my class.”