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Quick Writes Digitized at PDMS

 Tracy Cress, a 7th grade ELA teacher at Piedmont Middle, uses Google Docs to support her Quick Writes Program throughout the school year. This program allows students to maintain a year-long journal based on the books they receive from the media center. Ms. Cress coordinates her efforts with her Media Specialist, Lana Funderburk, in order to find books that meet her student’s reading level and interests. In addition, her student’s Google journals help support her larger Writer’s Workshop initiative.
During Quick Writes students are asked to write their personal responses within a Google document as they read. This document acts as a journal and is only shared between the student and teacher. In addition to identifying the title, author and genre of a particular book, students are encouraged to express their feelings, thoughts, reactions and questions about what they have read. Students explore different situations, ideas, actions and any literary elements that are in the book. In addition, students must support their responses with evidence from the text. They are also held accountable for writing conventions and organization of thoughts.
The written Google responses are only the beginning of the Quick Writes process. Ms. Cress can review the shared documents and give feedback by using Google’s Comment feature. In addition, Ms. Cress meets individually with students on a bi-weekly basis. During these meetings she reviews their progress, encourages them to dig deeper and helps them improve their reading and writing skills. This is a key component of the Writer’s Workshop model.
Ms. Cress is also able to build relationships with her students as she monitors their development both online and in person. The online component supported by Google is essential because it allows her to help students in real-time. This component also allows her to consistently connect with each individual child and better serve them throughout the year.
This article originally appeared on UCPS’s Instructional Technology Website.
Written by: Garrett Williams, ITF

Written by: Garrett Williams
Posted: Apr 25, 2014 by Karen Barbee

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