Today was the first of two one-hour sessions of "Computer Fun," a class that I'm teaching to elementary students at Abigail and Hillary's school. About this time each year, the school's Parent Advisory Council offers a variety of mini-lessons as enrichment opportunities for the children. Students sign up for the topic that interests them, and they get two one-hour sessions on consecutive Fridays, led by parents or community members with some expertise in the area being taught. I did this last year (review this and this), and Abigail signed up to be a student in my class then. This year, Hillary is in it!
Both years the main project has been to create a newsletter requiring the students to use desktop publishing software and integrate digital photography, graphics, Internet research, and creative writing. Last year the timing of the class made it logical for the students to create a Valentine-themed newsletter. This year our theme is the winter Olympics, and the students are writing newsletters announcing their own designation as gold medal winners in fictional winter Olympic events: snowball fighting, snowfort building, avalanche racing (as in racing against an avalanche), and others that they brainstormed today. Each newsletter features a photo of the student wearing his/her Olympic gold medal.
Today they wrote news articles announcing their victories, chose graphics to accompany their stories, and posed for their photos. Next week they will find interesting facts about the Olympics to add to their newsletters, print out the final products (in color, of course), and play some Olympics-related online games to end the session. I'm happy to report that Hillary was a model student, and it looks as though her newsletter will be top-notch!