Bring a stack of newspapers into Carlotta Mitchell’s fourth grade classroom at Satilla Marsh Elementary, and the students will get very excited.
The newspaper represents a break from their textbooks and an opportunity to study math through a more real-world approach.
Mitchell uses the sales papers included each week in The News to stray from the math textbook and teach math lessons through an alternate text.
“Usually, certain units that come up that we need to do things like measurements, so we use the food section in the paper,” Mitchell said. “Especially when we’re doing fractional parts.”
Using the sales papers, where stores advertise discount prices on items ranging from a 10-pound turkey to a set of electric drills, the students are able to complete math problems in a real-world context.
But the students in Mitchell’s class enjoy The News for reasons beyond the math education it can provide.
Most said they’ve grown up watching their parents read the paper every day.
And Mitchell had her own personal connection to the newspaper to share with her students.
“I should tell you all something that you probably don’t know,” Mitchell told her class. “When I was 12-years-old, my sister had a paper route. So I used to deliver The News — in 1972, when the office was downtown.”
Layne Rentz, a student in Mitchell’s class, said the sports pages are the most entertaining for him — especially when the young football player is featured there.
“I was in the newspaper when I went to football camp,” he said. “It felt so cool … I like the sports page because they really have a bunch of things that I want to read about.”
Kregg Richardson said he also frequently sees his smiling face in the pages of The News.
“When I see myself in the newspaper, I give myself a thumbs up,” he said.
Occasionally, Kregg said, he’ll even read the other news articles.
“I love how this newspaper has so much information,” he said. “And the weather section is my favorite.”
Lejhorne Brown, whose favorite subjects are math and science, said she loves using the newspaper’s sales pages to learn fractions.
“Using the prices helps me learn math,” she said.
Mollie Daniels agreed, and she said the newspaper goes well with her math textbook.
“It’s a really good way to help us learn,” she said.
The good news for teachers is that there is always an opportunity to begin using newspapers in the classroom.
All it takes is a phone call to The News at 265-8320 ext. 356. Summer Whitten would be happy to sign up teachers to get their newspapers twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.