The Franklin Today Show

The Franklin Today Show
Posted on 03/13/2018
The Franklin Today ShowIn January 2018, Michelle Stone, fourth grade teacher at Franklin Elementary, began a class project to produce a school news broadcast, The Franklin Today Show. Her students would write scripts, perform interviews, and read the news on camera.

Stone determined the essential equipment needed for the project. “I obtained funding for the Mac book on Donors Choose,” explained Stone.  “Some donors were friends and family members, and some were anonymous donors on Donors Choose.”

Stone selected iMovie, as she was looking for a kid-friendly, simple video editing program.  She does the video recording on her smart phone, using a tripod.

Broadcasts range in length from 5 to 13 minutes.

“My goal, eventually, is to have them make a show three times a week, and if we are really a well-oiled machine, maybe one a day,” said Stone.

While the class is working out the logistics, currently they are producing two shows a week. The students look for things to report on.  Stone has invited teachers to encourage students to share their  work, whether it is a written report, art project, or anything else they want to share with the school.

“I would love to have an author’s corner or something on the show to showcase student work,” said Stone.  “Also, we plan to report on school field trips.”

Students work on writing scripts one day for next day’s news broadcast. The class is divided into two teams, so half the students are working on independent reading and the other half are working on the show.

So far, the show can only be viewed on a teacher share drive.  Teachers can show the episodes to their students at a time that suits their class schedule.  “I have some parents who are only comfortable with limited viewing, so we just keep the broadcasts accessible to our school, “explained Stone.

An episode features segments such as Weather Forecast, Who’s Who of Franklin, Joke-Telling, Question of the Week, and Fact Attack.

“My students are expected to memorize their questions, so the interview process will go smoother,” said Stone. “I encourage them to be very independent with this; it allows them to take ownership of it.”

Stone sent an e-mail out to building staff with the following message:  Today one of my students will be walking the halls (with me, of course) to find about three kids to interview on the spot about what honesty and integrity mean to them. If we spot one of your students, I hope you don’t mind us taking a moment of their time to talk. I will tell them to let you know they stopped to talk with us. Thanks for the support!

Students take turns performing different job assignments.  One week, Jensen Wolfe was assigned to write On the Spot questions for interviewing.  The question of the day was: How do you show kindness?  “It’s fun to do the interviews and be on camera,” Jensen said.” We get the ideas in our heads for questions to ask, or our teacher helps us.”

Weatherman Zane Reidel, with help from classmate Calvin Davis, was checking the weather forecast on the internet.  Zane noticed his picture being taken for this story, and he wanted to make sure his expression was correct.  “I like to look serious,” he explained. 

Matthew Pritchett was working on the Fact Attack segment.

Cooper Nees was canvassing for Jokes.

Ian Smithson was working on a story about a third-grade class that was writing poetry.

Easton Fisher was preparing to anchor the next broadcast. 

“Most have learned their lines quickly, even overnight,” remarked their teacher.  “They are really invested!”

Two students, Mathew Pritchett and Sai Wade, had the opportunity to interview the Port Angeles superintendent, Dr. Marc Jackson, who is retiring in June. The interview, part of a special edition of the Franklin Today Show, went something like this:

Sai’s Question:  What is the best part of your job?

Dr. Jackson:  Getting out to the school sites, seeing the programs that are really successful.  This program demonstrates that learning can be fun, and it allows kids to use their imaginations. I enjoyed talking and laughing with the kids.

Mathew’s Question:  Do you believe in Sasquatch?

Dr. Jackson:  Yes, and I also believe in vampires and werewolves---and that’s why I won’t drive through Forks after dark!

“They are utilizing a lot of important skills in this project,” said Stone.  “Writing the scripts on Chromebooks helps them to practice their typing skills, and practicing their scripts helps improve their reading fluency.”

In February, Stone and three of her students, Finn Waknitz, Abby Rudd and Jensen Wolfe, were interviewed live on the air by Todd Ortloff at local radio station KONP 1450 AM.

“I like being in front of the camera and learning things about the people at my school,” said Finn.

“Even shy kids become confidant in front of the camera,” she added.  “This project has been a real confidence builder for the students.”

The February 20 KONP radio interview can be accessed at: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/konp/episodes/2018-02-21T14_12_52-08_00.



(Photos by Patsene Dashiell)

Franklin Michelle Stone 4th grade class – Michelle Stone and her Franklin Elementary fourth graders

FTS taping – Michelle Stone prepares to record Clare Bowechop’s interview with P.E. teacher Campbell Kirkman in the school gym.

FTS weather forecast – Weatherman Zane Reidel scopes out the weather forecast for the next day’s broadcast as classmate Calvin Davis looks on.

FTS anchors – Teacher Michelle Stone prepares to film an episode of the Franklin Today Show with anchors Ruby Johnson and Easton Fisher.

FTS on KONP radio– Abby Rudd and Jensen Wolfe answer questions on the air during a February 20 interview on the Todd Ortloff Show on KONP 1450 AM.

For additional assistance, please contact:

M. Patsene Dashiell
Communications & Community Relations Coordinator
Ph: 360-565-3703
Port Angeles School District
Central Services – 216 East 4th Street
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