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Literacy Tips for Digital Writing

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.


Tips for Implementing Digital Writing Journals into the Classroom. Whether you are a 1:1 classroom or have access to Chromebooks or computers, using paperless writing journals can transform your writing block. Come learn some tips for using 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 Nonfiction Writing Journal, Creative Writing Journal, Digital Journal Bundle or my Emoji Writing Prompts Journal.








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:

                                 

UPDATE! Voice to text is now a feature in the speaker notes of Google Slides. Students can speak their text into the speaker notes section and then copy and paste right into the slide. Go to Tools>Voice type speaker notes.


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.

UPDATE! The research tool is now called the explore tool which can be accessed by going to Tools>Explore or clicking the plus sign in the lower right hand corner of your screen.

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:

5 Reasons to Use Digital Writing Journals in the Classroom


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Head over to check out some other literacy tips from The Reading Crew: