500 Words At A Time: As A Teacher, Part 10

Before I get into my day as a teacher, allow me to share with all of you the great news: I received my graduation confirmation. I have or will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism Technical Professional Communication. Not bad for a man who started going back to college because he had the time and for shits and giggles.

In other news, looks like there will be more 500 Words for the foreseeable future. As I am working through the manuscript I am finding references to posts I have not made yet. Ooopss…I blame the old Game Master in me, seed the adventure with references to the future to keep the players involved. Now I need to write them up.

Today was an interesting day for me. Students had one day off, due to snow day and they had a whole weekend to work. The had their online portfolios to continue working on and print portfolio sample to bring to class. I found out that they had a poster to present as well, but that is not in my concern. Five students had print portfolio samples.

Two made mini-books. The rest printed off full pages with their samples. They are unable to see how their print portfolio looks as a book and that is unfortunate for them. But turned into a lesson on print cycles. Using the two mini-books as examples we were able to show the rest of them the difference between how pages look when assembled verses a collection of papers.

Personally I think the hardest part of creating a print portfolio is understanding how the pages look without seeing them. What I learned and most people had to learn the hard way is, it is one thing to see pages of material on a computer screen or printed out one page at a time. It is another thing to see them assembled in the format you desire, which in most cases is book form.

There are expectations of a book and as soon as you see your material in book form you start to notice what is not “right.” Such as chapters starting on the wrong page or page numbers in the wrong spot or margins that looked good on screen now look funny. If you notice these details everyone else will and they will find things that you don’t know. Which is why it is important to start the print cycle early. Make samples, make notes all over them, have someone else make notes all over them in a different color, and do it all over again.

Using the two mini-book samples all of the students got to see the first step of the process. Some students had that “ah ha” look and some had an “Oh no” look. Hopefully, all of them work on a bigger print sample that they can show off when school resumes in two weeks. I know I am looking forward to this phase of the portfolio process…I don’t know if they are, but they should have some fun.


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