Monday, Sept. 17, 2018

Good morning!

I need to meet with editors for a few minutes at the beginning of class. While I’m doing that, please check out your news sources and find out what’s happening in the world today.

Also please check this list of upcoming events that we need coverage for, and sign up for anything you can.

Today we’re going to look at the workflow you should be following for your stories.

We’ll also take a look at the Grading Matrix. This is a way for us to keep track of the points for each element of your story. Synergy will reflect only the final score.

We’ll also look at how to put together a story.

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Monday, Sept. 10, 2018

Good morning.

Today we’re going to talk about several things:
1. Online Daily Briefs
2. Story Outlines
3. Logging in to the Advocate Online
4. Creating a profile and bio page
5. Photos and coverage for events this week.


  1. Online Daily Briefs – Thanks for signing up for these on Friday. Be sure to sign up for one during each colored period on the list. Be sure to select a topic that is timely – that is, as close as possible to the date that it will be published. These should be brief stories with basic information that we can post quickly. We’ll go over how to make a post online later. Ideally, your brief should have:
    1. the basic 5Ws – Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How
    2. a couple of good quotes from good sources,
    3. and a photo to go with it.
  2. Story Outlines – These are documents you’ll use to organize the elements that you’ll need for your story. These are in your Google Classroom. They are labeled:  Issue 1 Story 1 Outline, Issue 1 Story 2 Outline, etc. Please fill out one of these for each of your stories. These are for you to keep track of all your information in one place. It will be graded as part of your overall score for the story.
  3. Logging into the Advocate Online.To begin, you’ll need to login to the Advocate Online
    Go to this URL:
    Enter your school ID and school password. They will give you access to the site.
  4. Creating a profile and bio page – This can be done outside of class if we run out of time today.


Once you login, you will be on the Dashboard for the site. You will need to update your Profile by clicking on the Profile tab on the left side of the page. Then choose the dropdown menu that says “Display name publicly as” and choose the one that shows your First and Last name.

You will also be able to upload a Profile picture that will appear with any posts you author. Choose a head-and-shoulders style of photo, and save it to your desktop. This can be your Synergy photo, or you can take a new photo to use.

Here’s a video showing you what to do.

Be sure to click the button at the bottom that says Update Profile.


Next, you’re going to make a page with information about you. This will go under the About Us section of the site with information about our staff.

Here is a video showing you how to do that.

Click on the Pages tab on the left near the top and choose Add New.

Enter your First and Last Name in the Headline field where it says Enter title here.

Click on the Add Media button at the top of the page. Click Select Image. Navigate to wherever you have downloaded/saved the image you’d like to put on the page. Under Alignment, choose Left, and click Insert Into Post. This doesn’t have to be the same photo you used for your Profile photo.

You can resize the photo if you need to by clicking on a corner and dragging the image to the correct size.

Next, write a short bio for your page next to the photo. This will tell the reader something about you, but be sure not to share any information you don’t want everyone to know. Avoid personal information like your home address and cell phone number, etc. You can make changes to this later if you wish.

Be sure to click on the Parent drop-down menu on the left, and select About Us.

Finally, click Submit For Review. I will look over the pages and Publish them so that they appear on the website.

5. Photos and Coverage for events this week: There is now a link at the top of the list to the right to a signup sheet for covering upcoming events.
Spirit Week
Homecoming Game
Homecoming Dance

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Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018

Good morning. I am out of the building today. Editors will be working on other tasks.

Today we’re going to look at how to write captions for photos. We mentioned the other day that journalistic photos tell a story and that the captions help give the reader more information than they can get just from looking at the photo. They are very important, especially in the school newspaper and yearbook.

Captions in journalism follow a specific formula. Today you’re going to learn what that looks like and practice writing captions yourself using some photos provided on the form.

Please click on this link, and follow the instructions. . The sub will go over the instructions with you before you begin. PLEASE read the directions carefully before starting. This will be graded, so do your best.

When you finish, be sure to click the Submit button at the bottom of the form. Click it at the end of the period, even if you are not finished with all of the captions. The form won’t save your answers unless you do.

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Monday, Aug. 27, 2018

Good morning! Happy Monday.

Today we’ll start with the name/face/interesting thing quiz.

Click here to take the quiz. 
You will need to identify the person by first and last name (spelled correctly) and include at least one interesting thing you learned about them. You may use your notes.

When you are done, click Submit.

After the quiz, we will do triage by looking over the story list and prioritizing them by importance/urgency. Tomorrow we will assign stories.

Reading assignment: I have shared a folder with pdfs of each chapter in the book. You may also check out a physical copy of the book if you would rather. 
For tomorrow: Chapter 1: Bringing Information to an Audience. What does a journalist do?  Please read pages 3-17 and take notes. We’ll discuss it in class.

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Monday, Aug. 23, 2018

Good morning.

Yesterday we discussed some current events and how we can cover timely and controversial topics.

Today I want us to look at the story list and prioritize them in terms of which ones are the most urgent, which ones are important but may take more time, and which ones are timeless stories that we might hold off on until later. I refer to this process as triage, which is a medical term for deciding which patients need the most urgent care first, and which ones can wait.

After that, we will make assignments to decide who will write which stories.

We will also discuss deadlines.



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Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2019

Good morning! It’s a PLC Day today, so our class is slightly shorter. Use your time wisely.

Today we’ll begin with the Partner Interviews. Get together with your partner, find a place where you’re comfortable talking (you can go out in the hall if you want to, or you can stay in the classroom), and have conversations. Hopefully you’ve thought about some of the questions and your responses. If you’re out in the hall, please stay focused (and off your phones). Thanks.

Remember that you don’t have to use the questions I gave you. Feel free to come up with your own or to go off on a tangent if it sounds interesting.

Interviewers (the person asking the questions): Remember to ask follow-up questions and ask for details and examples. Try to get as much information from your partner as possible. This will help your speech to be more complete and more lengthy.

Interviewees (the person answering the questions): Remember to give as much detail as possible and explain your answers completely. Help your partner get enough good information as possible.

We will work on drafting tomorrow and introducing partners on Thursday.

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Monday, Aug. 20, 2018

Good morning! Welcome to Monday.

First, I’d like to look at the story ideas you came up with. Here is the story list. We’ll also look at your form submissions.

Today we’re going to be talking about what to expect in this course, and we’re going to begin working on our first writing assignment: The Classmate Interview.

There is a list of possible questions in your Google Classroom folder. You may use your Chromebooks to take notes during the interview, or you can handwrite your answers on another piece of paper. Take good, complete notes, and ask for clarification, and ask follow-up questions if you need to.

You will be introducing your partner to the class, and you will also write up the information in the form of a feature story (more about that later).

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Good morning! Welcome to Mr. Keller’s Advocate class.

This blog page will have all the information you need for this class. I will try to keep it as updated as possible so you always know what to expect. It will include notes, assignments, important dates, and announcements.

We will generally start every day by looking at the day’s post. Please Bookmark this site in your browser, and check here if you are absent to find out about information or assignments that you may have missed.

For the next couple of days we’re going to spend some time getting to know each other. I’m going to ask you to fill out some forms online and share some information about yourself. Please answer the questions honestly, and completely, and with as much detail as possible. The information won’t be shared with anyone else. It’s just a way for me to get to know some things about you that will help me to be a better teacher for you.  I will also be sharing some information about myself.

We’re also going to be discussing the course and what you can expect this semester. I will post new information, assignments, etc., on this blog regularly. If you are absent, check to see what you missed. All assignments will also be posted here, so you can always check to see what you should be working on and what’s coming up.

After we look at Classroom Expectations,I’d like you to click on the links below (in the order that they appear) and follow the instructions for each form.

1. The first one is the True Colors Personality Assessment. I’ll go over the directions with you before you begin.
True Colors

2. The second is the Myers-Briggs Personality Sorter. It’s 65, Yes-No questions about yourself. The main thing to remember when taking these assessments is that there are no right or wrong answers and no scores that are better or worse than others. They’re designed to find patterns in your answers that are similar to answers other people gave. Then it suggests some traits that might be true for you.
Myers-Briggs Typology Indicator

After you click on the Score It button at the bottom, it will show your results with a four-letter score and percentages below. It will look something like this.

Select that score and the numbers, and COPY it.




Click here to submit your score and comment on the results by PASTING your results in the correct field. 

Click here to read more information about the Myers-Briggs. We will go over this in more detail together in class, but you can look here to see an explanation of what your score means.

3. Next is the Student Profile form. It’s basic information about you. Some of this is on Synergy, but it helps me to have it all in one place. You can see instructions for this in Google Classroom.

To join the class, use this code: a6vb0u

*Please use this code to join the Newspaper Classroom folder even if you already have one  for Journalism. We will all use this one for the semester, so we don’t have to duplicate information. 

4. Last is the Personal Histories Questions. These are questions about you (likes, dislikes, etc.) that will tell me some things about you that I might not know through the course of the semester. This is a great place to tell me things that you think I should know about you. Again, it won’t be shared with anyone, so please be honest.
These questions are also in Google Classroom

When we get done with those, we’ll talk more specifically about the course and what to expect. If you have questions before we get to that point, feel free to let me know.

You can also subscribe to this page, so that whenever I post something new, you’ll get an email message. Click in the box to the right marked: Follow Blog via Email

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

And remember that you can always send me an email at if you have questions or concerns.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Good morning.

Today you should be finishing up your Portfolio. It should be a collection of all of your stories from the semester (print and online) laid out in InDesign as a single file (including photos and captions). If you need to connect to the server from the Media Center, here is the address: smb://

When you are finished, please Export it as a pdf (File – Export). Save it to your desktop, and upload it to the shared folder in Google Drive titled: Advocate Portfolios 2018.

Title it: Name.AdvocatePortfolio.2018.pdf

Also, please complete the Self Evaluation here. This should be done before you leave the classroom today. Please don’t rush through this. Answer completely and thoughtfully, and be sure to read each question carefully. If you need more time, please let me know. You must click the Submit button to send your responses. The answers on the form will not be saved if you don’t submit them. 

Please indicate on the form the scores you feel you deserve in the various categories listed. Give yourself a point score from 1-10 (ten being the best) for these criteria (Meeting Deadlines, Quality of Stories, Layout, and Use of Class Time, etc.) AND Include an explanation for each category. Also rate your Overall Performance for the semester. Include any additional comments, concerns, criticism, suggestions, etc., as well in the last box. Please be honest. Thanks.


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Friday, Oct. 27, 2017


  1. Need photographer(s) for IB Academy Day (TOMORROW!) – STORY and PICS.
  2. Today I’d like us to begin watching All the President’s Men. It’s a movie about the Watergate scandal during the Nixon administration and how it was uncovered by two unknown journalists at the Washington Post. It raises a lot of issues that are relevant to current events – especially the relationship between the press and the White House as well as the role of the media in politics. It also demonstrates some qualities of good journalism.
  3. Homework: I’d like us to create (together) a news brief and Tweet for Ms. Wanamaker’s award yesterday. (I have photos and video and basic information which I will put in a folder in Google Drive.) I’d like each of you to put something together with what you have (and whatever else you can find out) and make an online post of it as well as a Tweet. The best ones will be posted online. Due at the beginning of class on Monday. 
  4. After school day next week?
  5. We also need to decide what stories are going to be published in print and online.
  6. We need to establish deadlines for both.
  7. I will be gone on Wednesday of next week. I’ll be taking Native American LHS students to UNL for a symposium all day. (SSWASAT).
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