We Have an Announcement…

News from the 5th Grade class

September 18, 2021
At PNA we pride ourselves on being a learning community. We look for every chance to connect and collaborate, to help students see that together, we are more than just a group of classes of kids and adults housed in a building; we ARE PNA. We reach beyond our own classrooms and connect with each other in whatever ways we can. We try to build a feeling that each of us is part of something bigger and better!
One way we work to accomplish this way of being is through PBL. Our use of project based learning allows students the chance to experience hands-on, collaborative, real life activities that have the power to take learning and school work outside the classroom. Students build teamwork skills, meet deadlines, identify their own learning needs, and use learning in new and unique ways. Authentic audiences, connection to learning standards, and continuous reflection ensure that projects are meaningful and effective.
The 5th grade has begun a year-long project with the most authent
ic of audiences, one designed to connect the people of PNA with each other each morning. We are pursuing this driving question: “How can we, the 5th grade production team, create interesting, informative, and innovative Morning Announcements for our school?” Starting each day with a shared morning announcement helps our classes feel like they are connected to the PNA community. Students were immediately interested: they identifi
ed the things they needed to know and the tasks they needed to complete. They recalled morning announcements they’d experienced in past years and used that knowledge to imagine what we could do. Project work time was focused and productive, and by the end of the week, scripts were prepared, a calendar for the coming month was developed, and our first round of online video announcements were ready!

PBL Project Board

We ran into some technical difficulties and minor meltdowns; had to figure out how to revise videos at the last moment; really, really learned that our “no excuses” editing checklist is serious; and got super excited when we saw our videos on the big screen. We immediately heard back from teachers and students around the building that our hard work paid dividends. Our jokes and fun facts and school news are being heard and seen! Such a powerful motivator for young writers and speakers!
We’ve already got ideas for out next round of videos; ways to write better scripts; use our voices more powerfully, and innovate on our first attempts. We are reflecting and revising to make our work better. We will continue this project and watch the connections and the competence grow!
Here are a few examples of our first round of announcements: