Teaching writing is so much easier using Google. Here are seven of my favorite ways that using Google Docs or Google Slides helps with writing instruction.
How many times has a student lost their draft or prewrite in your classroom? I couldn’t begin to count the times.
There are so many strategies for organizing writing papers but the need for those strategies goes away when it becomes digital. Personally, I like to use Google Slides so that the Prewrite, Draft, and Final Copy are all in one neat little package.
But, even if you want to have several documents, they can all go into a folder. The beauty is this folder won’t get left at home or have papers falling out of it.
How much time to you spend passing out papers, collecting papers, asking who a nameless paper belongs to? The list goes on.
Besides saving time and trees, it saves clutter.
Quick and Painless Editing
Commenting in Google is quick and painless. Select the section you want to comment on and click comment. This will highlight that section for the student so they know where to look.
Tip: Set up a routine that only you can mark comments you initiated as resolved.
Real Time Writing Assistance
Some students need constant support. When you have a classroom full of students who need that continual support, Google can save you a lot of running around. It also allows you to help those students that don’t want others to know they need help. Open several tabs for the students you want to help in real time.
This is a screenshot of me working with a student who believed he was done with his assignment and wanted to move on to a choice activity. I highlighted part of what he needed to fix and was able to watch him make corrections. He made eye contact with me when his correction was done and I gave him one other quick task to complete. During these 3 minutes, I was also able to comment on another students writing.
I’ve found this real time help can be invaluable for my English Language Learners. I’ll watch them get started and it quickly becomes evident if they understand the task. If they need additional help, I walk over and help them one on one.
Writing Resources at Their Finger Tips
Often while they are writing, I’ll have anchor charts and sentence starters projected onto the screen.
Students don’t always write at the same pace, so another great feature is the ability to include the charts in their assignment so they can access them whenever they want to.
Take the Fear of Making a Mistake out of Writing
As a kid, I remember clearly choosing different words when I didn’t know how to spell something. I’d use a simpler word rather than a new vocabulary word because I didn’t want to have my teacher circle the word in red. Once students know they can right click a word underlined in red to correct the spelling, that fear is gone.
I used to have elaborate systems like writing dictionaries they’d bring to me to have me spell a new word for them. Now, they mange this independently with a simple right click.
Copy / Paste Makes Writing Final Drafts Easier
I had a teacher that made us rewrite our drafts over and over until they were perfect. I hated writing that year. Now, with copy and paste students can turn their drafts into final products quickly and easily.
What is that Resource?
Most of the photos and gifs in this post are from my Compare and Contrast writing resource. This resource focuses on writing simple paragraphs while comparing and contrasting characters, setting, and events. You can use it with any literature you are reading with your students. The settings and events portions could also be used with non fiction.
More Writing Resources for the Google Classroom