I have been wanting to ask students to do more and more pre-writing digitally. Their writing lacks organization and this used to be a larger part of our practice in fifth grade. My research question this year revolves around writing engagement when technology is utilized. So far, I am impressed with their speed and skills with word processing, and have noticed that they are in need of organization. “Googling it” didn’t render me with the answers that I hoped for. I wasn’t able to find “editable graphic organizers” or “lock tables” so that students would be able to edit — I even had a hard time explaining to colleagues what it was that I wanted. I could make a PDF form (I think I know what that is!???) and have students edit it — good idea, but it didn’t work when I “made a copy” for each student on Google Classroom. With some fancy saving strategies and trying to skirt the issue, it was figured out- but how do I explain this twenty-seven step, nonsensical strategy to students? Nothing was as simple as I had hoped. So I kept asking around. And I think I have hit on something today. Our technology specialist attended a professional development course wherein she designed just this type of graphic organizer that students can manipulate. And would you believe it, it fulfilled her requirement for Special Education PDPs!? Next step: check out this class!
It’s at this point that I know what I don’t know. I have more questions than when I began and now I have a place where I plan to ask them — and a format on which to practice. Google Drawings… helping kids with writing? We’ll see!