Monday, December 2, 2013

November - Rough Draft vs. Final Draft With EEEs

     Now that I am having more of my students rough draft on their EEEs, I have come across an issue I haven't seen before. Because publishing has been the step where students have used EEEs in the past, they aren't understanding that just because it is typed doesn't mean it is perfect and in "final  draft" format. Many of my students are typing their rough draft and are not finding the need to edit because it is already in a published format. I have had to have a lot of conversations this past month about what a Rough Draft is and what a Final Draft is. If anything I think I might change these terms because as a colleague of mine pointed out "No draft is really a final draft." Many authors who type their work edit 80 or 90 times before a book is reading for publishing. More of my students need to understand this!
     My students are coming along with their editing and revising work, but I am still looking for ways to translate and have them apply this to their typed pieces as well. We will be using the highlighting tool moving forward, more comments with their writing partners moving forward, etc, but I am still working on hitting home that one editing, one revision, does not a "Final Draft" make. Has anyone else run into this using their EEEs more for writing? I am glad it has been part of our discussion in our classroom, but I want to find more effective ways to address it. I love how I am constantly being challenged in my instruction based on real world issues I see with the implementation of technology in my classroom!

Monday, November 4, 2013

October Success (a a little late) - Research Tool/Quotes on Google Docs

      I love learning new things with Google Docs. At our Inspired Writing half day meeting we were introduced to searching for quotes in the Research tool. I had an immediate application for this in my classroom. We were reading the incredible book Wonder by R.J. Palacio. One of the characters in the story is a teacher named Mr. Browne. He had a precept every month that he shared with his students. They had to write a paragraph explaining what the precept meant to them and how it connected to their lives. I start everyday in my classroom with a “Thought of the Day” (much like a precept). We use these quotes to start our day on a positive note and get our wheels turning. Using this idea, I asked the students to come up with a precept that was meaningful to them and their individual lives. Using the Research tool they searched for a quote they wanted to use. I then had them write an explanation of what the quote meant to them and why it was important in their life, much like Auggie (our main character) had to do for Mr. Browne. They typed these responses in their Blogging Doc and then posted it onto our classroom blog. When finished they had to respond to other people’s blog posts as well. I was very impressed by what they came up with and how they really did pick quotes that meant something to them. It was a great way to write about what we are reading using helpful technology to support.

Monday, September 30, 2013

September - Padlet, What a Tool!

     Part of the reason I love Inspired Learning so much, is that I constantly leave feeling inspired. One of the tools we were introduced to was Padlet. This is Wallwisher aka an electronic planning page, idea storage house for students. As we are transitioning into the new Lucy Calkins materials this year, I am having to change how I teach/think about teaching. This tool became of immediate use as we embarked on Lucy's first book. The students needed to generate a list of ideas/small moments that they could turn into a realistic fiction story. Instead of doing this planning in their notebook, I had them do it on Padlet. It was a huge success. Not only does Padlet link to their Google accounts so they don't have to register, but it will house this idea wall for the rest of the year so they can always refer back to it for ideas. There is no losing it or misplacing it, it is housed at all times online for their individual use. It also helped some of my students to generate more ideas because they weren't caught up in the pencil/paper work. They were able to click and add a new idea immediately.
     I am excited to use this tool moving forward as a successful option for student planning. I am excited by the work they have done so far, and I can't wait to see the stories that they generate from this first brainstorm of ideas.