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Reports, Commentary & Creativity from Eastside Media Arts Students

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 6)

CTE: It’s About More Than Career Skills

February is Career and Technical Education Month. It’s an opportunity to not only share our  mission to prepare students for enriching careers, but it’s a chance to also share the value CTE places on instilling service to others.

Our Skills USA members look for opportunities to give back to the community.  This month our group is organizing a donation drive for the homeless population in Lexington. The Catholic Action Center has been serving then community for nearly 18 years.  Our students are working to fill their need for fresh fruit, juice, and coffee mugs.  While they may seem like small items some may take for granted, these items mean a lot to those in need.

There are many ways to give.  From a tangible item, cash, or giving of one’s time, there are so many ways to give back.

The New York Times published this comprehensive Guide to Giving.

I encourage you to take the time to look through it and open your eyes to the many ways you can give back and make a difference.

Comment below if you have found a rewarding opportunity to support your community.

StoryCorps: Where Stories are Shared

I say it from the first day of school, “Everyone as a story to tell.”  It’s true.  From the stories of our families that help shape who we are to stories of overcoming adversity, our stories connect us.  They can be sad, inspirational, and funny.

Take a moment to read some of the stories on the Story Corps website.  


Blogging in 2018: Grab Your Audience

I have said it before and I will say it again. Good writing skills are a very important skill in life. I am a firm believer in this.

From casual conversations and business interactions to expressing your feelings when it matters the most, good communication skills are a must.  That is why weekly blogs are a part of my curriculum.

There is the additional benefit of giving yourself a voice on a platform that has the potential to reach a limitless audience.

You have a semester of blogging experience under your belt, now it’s time to step it up a notch, two!

Here are two articles to help you on that path.

10 Tips For Making Your Blog Posts Easier To Read

I like Tip #3 . See how you can implement a meaningful question that will prompt a response from your audience.

4 Blogging Tips

The Power is in the Proofing

Proof reading your work has sadly become an afterthought. I blame it on our penchant for firing off a quick message in a text or email. That style of “writing” is geared for quick communication.  Abbreviations and internet slang are the norm.

You know the language. LOL, IDK, BTW, LMK, OMG, THX.

There is still a need for good, make that great, writing.

I have been writing since I was a child. Even with more than 40 years of practice, I am by no means perfect on those first drafts. When I sit down to write that first draft I focus on getting my thoughts on “paper”.  Round two, I fine tune it. Round three, I proof read and lastly, I read it out loud. That’s #5 on the list below.

I have caught more oversights when I have read my work out loud. I think it’s one of the best proofing tools out there.  Read this great tip sheet from Grammarly to help you get in the habit of proofing your work.

After all, you don’t want your audience to remember you for mistakes. You want them to remember you for your creativity.  

Proof It Tips

New Year.

New Students.

Fresh Ideas.

The great thing about teaching is you get to wipe the slate clean each year and get a fresh start.  That was one of the reasons I enjoyed my career in broadcasting because every day was a fresh start.  A different story, different location, different people to interview every day. I loved the spontaneity of it.

The 2017-18 school year is already off to a productive start. Second year students have already completed or are near completion on independent projects.  AM students recorded and edited the first of a series of shows for our principal, Mr. Stanfield.

Tech Talk with Wade Stanfield

Our PM students have been working with the FCPS Transportation Department to create a new and improved PSA on School Bus Safety. This project has allowed the students real life experience by going off campus to work on a project that will air on local cable TV.

There are procedures to follow to ensure everyone arrives to and from school safely

Calla and Diana work the cameras while Leah oversees the project with the preplanned shot list.







I am also very excited about the effort and content that I have seen put into this year’s blogs. There is a variety of topics that would appeal to many interests. As a person who has always loved creative writing, it makes me so happy to see students exploring their own writing and communicating talents via their blogs.

There are so many ways to communicate with others.  From the written word, to photos, audio, video and graphics, each platform tells a story. I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with this year as each person tries all the ways to communicate out and finds the one that sparks his/her passion for connecting with others.

This is going to be a great year! I can feel it!




The Science of Storytelling: It’s Good for the Brain

You know what I say, everyone has a story to tell, what’s yours?  Here is an interesting article about the benefits of telling stories. Worth the read.

Science of Storytelling

Challenge Accepted. Say More with Less.


Saying more with less is either harder or easier depending upon how you approach it.  In some ways, I think it is harder to say something extra powerful in just six words.  For famed author, Ernest Hemingway, it was a sad tale. So few word, such a sad story.

What I love about this concept is how addictive it is. Once you get started, it’s almost like a game to say something so deep or wildly funny in just six words.  I challenge everyone to do your best. Look at this not just as another assignment, but as something to tackle like a great puzzle.

Just like slogans, a six word thought that’s really good has longevity, standing the test of time. New York Yankee’s legend Yogi Berra probably didn’t mean to create a six word story when he said “It ain’t over til it’s over”, but it has come to be said time and again with a deep meaning.

Take the challenge. Say more with less. Who can come up with  THE most memorable Six Word Story?

If you missed our in class introduction or would like to go back and watch it again, here are the links:

Smith 6 Word Memoir Ted Talk

Try a Video Blog aka VLOG!

“Expert” tips from Mario and Fava the groundhog.  Their lesson may be more  entertaining than mine!

Join the Conversation!

With the new year has come new visitors to our Get Connected blog.  The comments we have received have been refreshing and engaging which is what a blog should be about! Sharing thoughts, ideas, and creating an engaging conversation.


As our Media Arts students launch their new Blogs this week, we invite all of our new visitors to keep coming back to explore all the new sites being added to the AM and PM drop down menus.

There should be something of interest for everyone if you just browse through the sites.  Some of our students have tried blogging before, while others are trying it for the first time. Either way, it promises to be a fun adventure that will only get better with time.

Again, I thank you new visitors for checking out our site. It is so exciting to read feedback from a real audience outside our own classroom.

And if you didn’t already know, we have an open invitation for “Guest Bloggers”. If you would like to write a blog entry about something in your class or any other fun musings, submit it to me and we can add it to the Everything Eastside page.  Try it! you might like it.

~Ms. Rauch

Creative Commons Easy Search

In my endless search to find creative commons/copyright free sources I just stumbled across another. This website makes it about as easy as it gets. Simply put your keyword in a search box and Wa-La, multiple images that have already been filtered for your legal use.

Free and Clear Images to Use!

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