Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Trying to Make Writing Easier

This term I am playing around with how I do writing in my class. I want to make it easier for me and for my students.

For Students

I used to share a writing motivation for the students - this could be a picture, article, video etc - and then they used to write down all their 'wonderings' in their book. Once they had written down these they had to list all the possible ways they could write from their wonderings. The problem with this was all this information stayed with that student.

What about the student that can't come up with something?
How can everyone else's wonderings and possible ways of writing help the whole class?
What if someone else's ideas motivate me more to write?

Taking these questions into considerations I decided to create a Google Form, which I have shared on my class site, that the kids can see the writing motivation on. They then complete their wonderings and possible writing - see pictures below.

On the same page of my site I have embedded the response sheet (Google Sheet) so when they complete the Form their responses are displayed straight away. Now all students can see straight away what each other has come up with for wonderings and ways to write.

For Students and Me

I have shared something along this line before but am sharing again. 

At the end of each writing session I get my students to complete a 'Teacher Help Form'. This helps me prepare for my next session. They need to tick one of the following boxes:
  • Happy with where I am at
  • Have started but have hit a speed bump - need you to swing by my table for a quick chat
  • A little bit lost - can I have a conference please?
  • Totally lost - HELP ME!!!
  • Finished draft, proof read and edited - conference please

For example, today after I have worked with one of my writing groups I know I have to swing by 6 students desks to have a quick chat. The students like this as they have asked for help without anyone seeing they are - which can be a issue for some students. Also - if I have any other time in class I can check in with the students that have asked for help.

How it looks on my site:

Click on links below to make a copy:

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Post Comment Template in Blogger

In my class we have a blog where we share writing with each other, and we are now starting to look into peer feedback (this is part of my teacher inquiry). My students were struggling with what to write or how to start their feedback so I have added a selection of sentence starters that pops up when they comment in blogger. See below:

This is pretty easy to do. Just see the image below and follow these simple instructions:

1. Go to blogger
2. Click on 'Settings'
3. Click on 'Posts, comments and sharing'
4. Add what you want to put in the .Comment Form Message'
Click 'Save'

Sentence Starters:

I really liked . . . because . . .
I really liked the way you . . .
I enjoyed reading this because . . .
It was especially good when you . . . because . . .

I think you need to . . . because . . .
Next time you write . . .
Think about adding . . .
Have you thought about . . .
To improve your . . . try . . .
Perhaps you could . . .