A few weeks ago, I realized that I needed to change my normal routine for writing. Typically, with my old class, of only 11 students, I was able to have them draft, proofread, peer conference, have a teacher conference, edit and then publish each week. With my larger 4 class, I immediately recognized that I needed to change things up a bit.
I decided to use Google Docs for each writing assignment. The students start each writing assignment in Google Docs and share it with me for my review. I am able to go on and write comments, suggestions, highlight areas to edit, etc. It is time consuming, however, it has taken the place of my need to have a conference with each student during class. They read my notes, make changes, and then publish. It was so cool to be commenting on several students’ drafts at once, and see that they were working on it simultaneously. I basically was having teacher conferences on Google Docs. The kids loved it! I was also really impressed with how nicely their assignments turned out. They really listened to my suggestions.
Next week we will do the same thing, but they will also be sharing their document with two peers. That way they can peer edit without having to be in class. It has been an interesting change, which appears to be an excellent teaching tool.
Here are a couple from this week’s assignment. (the students had to write a dialogue post using a picture of animals) We were working on proper use of quotation marks and punctuation marks.