Literacy Tips for Digital Writing

Friday, August 5, 2016 / 22 comments
Are you thinking about implementing digital writing this year? Whether you are 1:1 or have access to just a few devices, digital writing time can be extremely effective for all learners.

I am teaming up with my friends from The Reading Crew to bring you 3 literacy tips when it comes to digital writing. Be sure to enter our Rafflecopter Giveaway at the end of this post!

Literacy tips for Digital Writing Journals in Google Slides.

Having digital writing journals ready to roll out in the beginning of the year looks very similar to regular paper journals. Each "page" of the journal is for a daily/single entry. I highly recommend using digital writing journals that are set up in Google Slides. Each slide serves as a "page". You can start one from scratch or purchase ones like my Expository Journal, Creative Writing Journal, Digital Journal Bundle or my Emoji Writing Prompts Journal.
                           


If you would like to try one out, then be sure to download my FREE sample writing journal that will give you an idea of how these digital writing journals are set up and to see how your students do with the 5 different prompts:


Here are my 3 tips to help you implement digital writing journals in your classroom:

Teachers are constantly differentiating. Every year I always had a child or two who had extreme difficulty when it came to writing. Handwriting, forming sentences, organizing ideas, you name it...it ALL was a struggle. Therefore, many of their IEPs had them "get their thoughts out" using a tape recorder and then I would listen and type out what they said. Or, these students would dictate to my parent volunteers who would type out their words on a word processing document. Whew! We can now THANK Google for introducing the education world to GAFE (Google Apps for Education)! The writing journals I mentioned above can still be used with these students. 

With the help of Google Docs, students can use the Voice to Text feature to get their words typed out for them. My digital writing journals were created and are completed in Google Slides which unfortunately doesn't have this feature yet. However, there is a quick work around. Check it out:

                                 

How many of your students have writer's block even when a prompt is presented as well as a picture??!! When this happens using digital writing journals, the research tool can come in quite handy. Students should click on Tools>Research and a menu will pop up on the right. They can type in topic to view more images, get more information from other web pages as well as watch YouTube videos all about their topic!

Literacy tips for Digital Writing Journals in Google Slides.

My favorite aspect of digital writing journals is that students don't have to waste time rewriting draft after draft. I remember that taking hours of our instructional time when I was in school. Instead, student revisions are a breeze thanks to the delete button and being able to click to add more words. Teachers and students who peer revise can leave comments without marking up the writing piece.

Digital Writing Journal in Google Slides: Emoji Prompts
These slides are from my Emoji Digital Writing Journal😎
I also like the technique of being able to color code/highlight words to help with expanding pieces. For instance, color code or highlight ALL nouns. Then add an adjective in front of each noun to make your writing more descriptive:


Or, color code or highlight all verbs and adding an adverb in front of each:


3 Literacy Tips for Using Digital Writing Journals in your Classroom. GAFE

To read more about digital writing, check out my post:




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22 comments:

  1. Love all the things I am seeing with Google apps...I'm starting to feel behind having never used them in my classroom! Are they all free to everyone or does your school need to be signed up in some way?

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    1. You gotta jump on board!! It is seriously life changing :) It's free! Just sign up for a Gmail account and then you will have access to Google Drive. The only difference between personal Google accounts and GAFE (Google Apps for Education) is storage. You have unlimited storage if your school signs up for GAFE. However, anything you make with the apps (docs, slides, sheets, drawings, etc.) does not count against your storage capacity. Only items you upload to your Drive (PDFs, PowerPoints, Word Docs).

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    2. I do use Google Drive but just so people can download things. I've just never explored anything else. Another question, what age are these digital journals for? Like can 2nd graders who are really just learning to type do them or are you using them for older kids?

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    3. I have them in my store for 3rd and up but I know many 2nd grade teachers who have used them. Learning to type is the set back but they have to learn at some point! Also, using the voice to text trick that I show in the video in this post is extremely helpful for those slow typers. I'm sure typing will be a "thing of the past" in the future...eeeeek!

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  2. I always love your GAFE ideas. I alway love the highlighting and the way teachers can leave feedback on documents.

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  3. I love these ideas! I've never used GoogleDocs in the classroom but I'm going to spread the word! I'm so excited about this. :) Thank you!

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    1. Definitely give it a try in the classroom! It's life changing :)

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  4. Great ideas!!! I'm a big fan of Google Docs and this post has really inspired me!!!

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  6. This post is A M A Z I N G! Why have I never thought of digital journals?! I also didn't know about Tools>Research! Thank you for all the great information!

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  7. Julie...these are ALL the reasons I observed with my own students. Some struggle so much with spelling, but by having the tech tools available to them, we're able to get so much more down without tipping to frustration. I love the talk to text option too especially for our kids who have trouble with reversals and transposals. Thanks for joining in!

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  8. This is definitely one way that I would love to incorporate more technology in my students' work day. Thank you for all of the great info! My gifted 3rd graders would absolutely love keeping a digital journal!

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  9. Love this post, Julie! Can't wait to share with my school! I also pinned and will share on FB. Am loving GAFE!

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  11. I love the voice to text feature! However, it isn't highlighted where I can click on it, any suggestions?

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    1. Hi there! I don't think I exactly understand what is going on. Are you working in a Google Doc? Is the voice to text tool not showing up?

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