Monday, Jan. 14, 2019

2019.2 Advocate Briefs and Stories Specifications

New Specs for second semester:

-A post can be a story or a brief and must have a photo with a caption (and a headline) ready to post by the end of the day it is assigned.
-One letter grade downgraded for each day a post is late (unless there are really compelling extenuating circumstances).
-A brief is up to 25 points. A story is up to 50. (Depending on the quality and completeness of the story – how much editing needs to be done for it to be publishable – at the time of the Final Draft deadline.)
-A brief is 100-200 words.*
-A story is 300-500 words.
-Final Draft Deadline is the day BEFORE the brief/story is scheduled to post.
-If you do a brief, you have one due every week. If you do a story, you have two weeks.
-A brief must still have an engaging lead and include all of the essential (sourced) 5Ws, plus at least three quotes from two different people.
-A story must have everything a brief has plus at least one more source/quote and more details.
-You can switch spots with someone if you need more time and someone else’s story is ready to post.
-Everyone needs to take photos of a sports event and write a story about it. Sign up online.

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Monday, Nov. 12, 2018

Everyone update Grading Matrix – Enter grades and slugs for posts.
Include points for deadlines and quality.
INCLUDE SCHEDULED PUB DATE. Add links to drafts in Classroom.

Also, please include a link to your draft on the Online Daily Signup Page – you have write access now.

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Friday, Sept. 21, 2018

Pep Rally Today this period.

Need photographers – Cover everything: Hall of Fame inductees, Cheerleaders and Pomalinks, Pep Band/Drumline/Color Guard, Crowd, etc. Position yourselves in different places. Don’t take photos from the same spot. Move around so that you can see the faces of the performers.

Homecoming Game/Dance photographers – Neive, Anthony, Clementine (anyone else?)

Pick up cameras at the end of 8th period. Get a pass from Mr. Keller. I need to leave right after school today. I will meet you at the end of the dance to pick up cameras.

Cadence – Athletic Hall of Fame post
Emily – Unity post – see Mr. Keller
Anthony – Sports Scores from last night? Finish email to coaches
Aliyana – Homecoming pre-story?
Grace – Festivus story?
Homecoming Game/Dance post stories – Corey and Clementine

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Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018

Please click on this link to see everything you need to know about the process of creating an online post.

Bulletin Board in Hall – Someone make this beautiful, please.
Update Sports Scoreboard –
Photo of the Day –
Online Posts – Discuss workflow and content
Schedule and Deadlines –

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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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