Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Teacher shares news with her second-grade class

by The Indiana Gazette on March 23, 2014 1:54 AM

The newspaper can open a world of learning opportunities for students. Just ask Deb Patterson, a second-grade teacher at East Pike Elementary School.

She said she has been using resources provided by The Indiana Gazette’s Newspaper in Education program for at least 15 years now.

“It’s an excellent resource for current events,” said Patterson, who is in her 27th year as a teacher.

[PHOTO: Deb Patterson, a second-grade teacher at East Pike Elementary School, went over a copy of The Mini Page with her students Friday. The Mini Page is published on Mondays in the Gazette. (Jamie Empfield/Gazette photo)]

One recent example, she said, was a piece on The Mini Page about dog-sledding in Denali, Alaska, a place Patterson herself has visited. She shot videos of the dog-sled races there and was able to show the videos to her class. Another timely topic that interested her students on The Mini Page was coverage of the Olympics, she said.

But it’s not just The Mini Page that she uses in her classroom. The newspaper itself is ripe with opportunities to teach students real-world uses of vocabulary with headlines and captions, social studies exercises that relate to current events and even math skills with the advertisements.

“I wish a lot more teachers would get involved in it,” she said. The students “are excited about it, and they take it home and show it to their parents.”

And that’s chiefly what’s behind the Gazette’s efforts: to reinforce a positive lifetime reading habit in students.

Patterson, of Indiana, said she looks forward to the Gazette’s annual NIE supplement, which features the work of hundreds of Indiana County students in all grade levels. This year, the publication will be distributed on March 31.

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