Sonoran Trails Middle School
February 17, 2015
The Writing Process (with Lori Jamison’s descriptions)
- Prewriting (Getting Started)
- Drafting (Getting It Down)
- Revising (Getting It Good)
- Editing (Getting It Right)
- Publishing (Getting It Out)
“If students are sharing their work with the world, they want it to be good. If they’re just sharing it with you, they want it to be good enough.” - Rushton Hurley
Take a look at Jon Spencer's daily Photo Prompts.
Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers is a page with 35 fillable PDFs that can help with prewriting. They can be printed or saved an typed on.
To save a PDF on a Chromebook:
- While viewing the PDF in Chrome, hover the mouse near the bottom right corner of the screen.
- Click the Save icon.
- Choose Google Drive in the left side bar.
- Change the file name to be specific.
- Click Save.
To type on a fillable PDF on a Chromebook:
- Open your Google Drive.
- Open the PDF you want to fill.
- Hover your mouse near the top of the document and click the arrow next to Open.
- Choose DocHub.
- Fill in the form fields.
- When done, click the blue Share button and choose Export to G Drive.
- This process saves another copy of the PDF, so you may want to go to your
Google Drive and delete the older PDF.
To type on a fillable PDF and save to Google Drive:
- While viewing the PDF in Safari, tap the document and choose Open in… near the top right corner of the screen.
- Choose Open in Adobe Reader.
- Fill in the form fields.
- Tap the document to reveal the red Share button near the top right of the document and choose Open in...
- Choose Open in Drive.
- Click Upload.
To type on a fillable PDF that you have already saved to Google Drive:
- Open the PDF in the Google Drive app.
- Tap the document to reveal the i button near the top right corner of the document and choose Open In.
- Click the Open in icon.
- Choose Open in Adobe Reader.
- Fill in or edit the form fields.
- When done, tap the document to reveal the red Share button near the top right of the document and choose Open in...
- Choose Open in Drive.
- Click Upload.
Hint 1: You may not be able to see what was typed into the text fields in the Google Drive app. You can choose to open the PDF back into Adobe Reader to see what you entered.
Hint 2: You may have to close the Google Drive app (by double clicking the Home button and swiping up on the Google Drive screen) and reopen in order to see newly added files.
What if I told you there was a way for you to have students type into a document that you as the teacher has complete access to? What if you could control how students name their documents? What if you could check students’ progress at a glance? And what if you could give a grade and feedback easily? You can using the Doctopus add-on for Google Forms.
To get started with Doctopus, you should have a spreadsheet with columns for students’ first names, last names, and Google account emails. If you don’t have this, great a Google Form!
To begin using Doctopus, you need to open your Google Drive on your laptop, Desktop, or Chromebook. You’ll click the Add-on menu and search for Doctopus. Clicking the Free button and then Accept will begin the process.
Keep in mind you need to have a document you want to distribute to students created and saved into a folder. You can easily put any Google Drive document into a folder by clicking File > Move to folder… while viewing the document.
Click to read a step-by-step walkthrough for Doctopus from Nate Ubowski.
If Doctopus seems intimidating to you, you can create a template document that forces students to make their own copy. Students can share that document back to you by clicking the Share button. You won’t get all the handy tracking and communication features you see with Doctopus.
Editing and Revising
Peers and teachers can comment on each other’s documents. This can be preferable over directly changing the work because the documents original author can decide what changes to make based on the comments.
To leave a comment on document, highlight text and right click and choose Comment. You can type the comment on the right. In the Google Docs iPad app, you can highlight text and choose Comment from the popup menu.
Since kids can be tough critics, when giving feedback to others, having students use the format of three compliments and a wish. Feedback should be specific…it will take some practice!
Students can add a thesaurus as an add-on to Google Documents. It can help students explore synonyms and antonyms.
A word cloud shows how often words are used in a selection of text by representing the frequency of words by their size. Popular word cloud websites don't work on iPads and Chromebooks because they require Java or Flash. Word It Out does work on iPads and Chromebooks.
Generating a word cloud from their writing can give students insight into how frequently they have used words. They might use this information to improve their word choice or reinforce they main ideas.
To save an image of a word cloud from worditout.com, students need to take a screenshot. Each platform has a different way of capturing the screen. How to Take a Screenshot details many different ways to take a screenshot.
Grading and Assessment
Google Docs: Grading Tips and Tricks has some handy ideas. One of Catlin Tucker’s suggestions is to make a master list of comments that you often make. That way you can open this list and copy and paste your comments.
If you’re using Doctopus, you may want to investigate using the Goobric Chrome extension and add-on. Goobric requires that you have already made a rubric in Google Sheets. You can grade student writing and Goobric attaches the rubric to the bottom of the document and emails that student.
Each day one student is designated at the roving reporter (or class scribe). His or her job is to write about the learning that happens that day. The reporter takes photos throughout the day and selects a few to include with the article. Reviewing photos can also help the reporter decide what to write about. Probably the best way to publish these article are on a blog, like Kidblog or on a Padlet wall. Don’t forget to give students a rubric or checklist at the beginning of the process so they know how their writing is assessed.
If students record themselves reading their writing, it can be a great way for them to practice speaking and listening. Students at Willowdale Elementary recorded segments for their podcast, Radio WillowWeb. GarageBand was used to record, edit, and combine audio recordings. GarageBand is available for $4.99 for iPad and comes installed on all Macs. If you want to do multitrack editing on a PC, try Audacity or Soundation Studio.
For simple recordings, try Vocaroo on a PC or Chromebook. There are no editing options, so if you make a mistake, you have to record the whole thing over. Vocaroo saves your recording online and provides a web address that you can publish for others to listen to. On iPad, try RecorderHQ. It saves an MP3 to Dropbox or Google Drive (from which you can copy the link to share).
Padlet is a free website where you can create a wall. You can open the wall up for others to post. Posts can have text and allow for uploads and links. On an iPad you can only upload photos and videos.
Suggested Padlet Wall Settings:
- Log into Padlet.com.
- Click the Modify Wall button.
- Under profile, give your wall a title and description.
- Under Layout, change from Freeform to Stream.
- Under Privacy, checkmark Moderate posts.
- Under Address, give your wall an easy to type web address.
Students can go to a Padlet wall’s address and begin a new post. They can paste their edited and revised writing from a Google doc into the post. The teacher must approve each post before the post can be seen publicly.
Comments for Kids
Want to get your students’ writing in front of more readers? Try posting the Padlet wall’s web address (or the web address of any writing or collection of writing) to Twitter. Include the hashtag #comments4kids. Chances are the others looking for student work will spot the tweet and hopefully tweet back a comment.
Turn Writing into a Digital Production
It’s great to share work as text, but in order to reach and engage an audience, it might be better for students to create digital productions from their writing. Using the writing as the script for a recording, narration, or video can transform the writing into something even more interesting to consume.
There are some great iPads apps that can make some compelling productions:
Create a digital book that can be read in iBooks with Book Creator. Each page of the book can contain any number of text boxes, images, audio recordings, videos, and drawings.
Want others to read your Book Creator book on a computer? They could install MagicScroll eBook Reader Chrome Extension and then upload the epub file created from Book Creator to magicscroll.net. Unfortunately, multimedia probably won’t play in any of the books you upload and advanced formatting might not look good.
Create animated videos with Adobe Voice. Add a series of slides that you narrate. Each slide can have a photo or a symbol from The Noun Project along with some optional text. You can save the video to your camera roll for later publishing.
Create your own TV show with TeleStory. Creating a TV show is as easy as...
- Pick a theme, then mix and match over 30 animated scenes to film your own story.
- Dress up in 50 different digital costumes with face tracking.
- Perform and record your own show with animated settings and special effects.
- Exporting the video to your Camera Roll where it is ready for later publishing.
"We do not learn from experience... we learn by reflecting on experience." -John Dewey
Tony made a QR code that points to tonyv.me/reflect. It's a specially coded web page that randomly displays one of 30 different reflection questions. You can print a page and cut out reflection QR codes.
Looking for Tony's handout from his morning session Worth 1,000 Words: Finding Copyright Friendly Images and Designing Infopics?