Fun Newsletter/ Flyer Tool to Differentiate in Your Classroom
Overall, a fun tech tool that my students really enjoyed creating with- it was empowering for them because they felt like they could design something really professional looking. As the teacher, it is up to you to be specific and clear about what needs to be in the project- kids can get really distracted making everything look cool and not have a lot of content! I would love to use it as an actual "teaching" tool as well- not just for a final project option. I think it would be neat to create a flyer for a unit of study and have steps, directions, links, articles, etc for students to go through at their own pace and learn. Students could even create a learning pathway like that for each other as well.
How I Use It
I have used Smore to create my own personal newsletters and flyers for staff and other teachers in the building. I offered it as an option for an end-of-unit project for my 7th graders one year and most of them picked to represent their learning in the form of a Smore digital flyer. Creating the flyers are super easy- older students can probably figure it out without much direction at all. As the teacher, you do however need to create some expectations and guidelines for students to be successful. Having a rubric ready to show students how they will be graded will prevent a lot of really cool-looking flyers with minimal information. It is also helpful to pair this type of activity with a little lesson on headlines, using text features, using graphics for effect, main idea/supporting details, etc. It is a different type of writing that many student are not used to doing in school. I had my students actually print out their final copies to create a collage in our classroom. You obviously lose any of the interactive links or audio, but it made a pretty cool "class newspaper" bulletin board for a parent night. You could have them email you the link to the flyer as well. I think it was a great tool to use as an option for students to demonstrate their learning in a visual way.