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Travis Heights Elementary School > ThunderNews Student Blog > Articles by: Ms. Janecek-Friedman

Author Archive | Ms. Janecek-Friedman

Visiting Journalist–Mike Hall

The 4th & 5th grade Photogs consulted with a professional journalist today.  Mike Hall, a writer from Texas Monthly, talked to us about what it’s like to be a journalist.  He helped us understand that focusing our topic helps make it more interesting.  For example, instead of writing about a big topic like animals, we could write about a specific animal, like the owlets who nested here in Travis Heights.  Writing about a more focused topic makes the writing more interesting to the reader.  (Look for an article about those owlets in an upcoming Life in Travis Heights magazine!)

Mr. Hall also talked about how important it is to plan out your writing.  He suggested trying to tell the story to a friend before writing it.  By telling it to a friend, we can learn what parts work and what parts to leave out.  After that, you can plan out your writing in an outline.

He explained that professional writers have editors who look over their work and give them suggestions on how to improve what they’ve written.  This is similar to what teachers do for students when they write a rough draft.  One of the students asked him if he had to write drafts before publishing his work, and he said YES.  He said he writes several drafts and gets feedback from his editor before the article gets into the magazine.  (Sometimes that is frustrating, because you feel like your writing is already good.)

We finished off with some fun jokes.  It was great to have him join us!

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Photojournalists Hard at Work–

Thank you for your patience as our Photogs work on providing amazing posts for this year.  Here they are working hard today–

Mrs. Freeman lets us use her room during her lunch time and planning period so that we can have a place work.  Mrs. Friedman–THANK YOU!!

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Visiting Photographer: Kirsten Niedzwecki

We were so lucky today, because an amazing photographer came in to help our 4th graders think about ways to make our photos more interesting. She lives in the neighborhood and her name is Kirsten Niedzwecki. She even offered to come back and help us some more! Thank you, Kirsten! If you want to see her work, you can check out her website at  (This photo was NOT taken by anyone on our photojournalism team.)

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3rd Grade Market Days

Students learned a little bit about how to run a business and manage a budget by participating in 3rd grade”s PBL.  Today was Market Day, when the classrooms are opened up and many “small businesses” sell their wares.







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Travis HS Band

We were delighted by a performance of the Travis High School Band today.  Next year our fifth graders may choose to take band as an elective.




dsc00033Thank you to Ms. King and to Mr. Kennedy (who teaches band at Fulmore) for arranging this fun break today!



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Professional Journalist

We were lucky enough to have a professional journalist meet with us today.  We discussed how to be an effective journalist and viewed many of his amazing images.  Thank you, Lee Klancher, for taking the time to share your expertise with us!


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Prime Time

Our after school Prime Time classes have begun.  Students are learning things like Korean, Ballet Folklorico and Coding.  A big appreciation pump to Mrs. Guerra, who has gotten everything organized and off to a great start!


dsc00715  dsc00720

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New Members Needed!

For the 2016-2017 school school year, students who were in Photojournalism last year are continuing this year.  We are in need of representatives from Marino’s and Sircy’s classrooms in 4th grade and Byrd’s and Carlson’s classrooms in 5th grade.  You can find the application for a position on the Photojournalism Team here: Application and Talent Release.  All applications are due by Friday, September 23rd.

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