Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Encouraging Classroom Collaboration

I work with some pretty amazing teachers. I am continually impressed with their dedication, hard work, and innovation. Lately, I’ve been chatting with my colleagues about interesting ways they use technology in their classrooms. I plan to share a series of posts with you highlighting their awesome work throughout the school year.

This week I sat down with Anita Earl, a second grade teacher, and had a conversation about how she uses technology in her classroom. Through our discussions, she explained how she uses Google Slides to help her students organize their writing and promote whole-class collaboration.

Using Google Slides is a great way to allow all students to work in one space, even when they are not online at the same time since Anita’s students typically use their devices in stations.  Students who need peer modeling can check work done before them for examples, and partners can easily provide feedback during peer conferences.

Whole Class Collaboration

Anita uses Google Slides to create class books. One such book that Anita has made in the past was inspired by the book, Tomorrow’s Alphabet by George Shannon.

This alphabet book is unusual because each letter is identified in a challenging way.  For example, A is for seed- tomorrow’s apple. These word puzzles encourage students to think critically about cause and effect relationships.

Anita reads this book with her students and challenges them to think of their own cause and effect relationships. Each student is assigned a letter, and they collaboratively make an alphabet book using Google Slides. This higher-order writing activity challenges Anita’s second graders to apply their understanding of cause and effect while also creating a book. By assigning each student their own slide, every student can make their mark as they collaborate to author a story.

If you’re interested in learning more about collaborative story writing, Read Write Think has some great lesson ideas to get you started.

Organizing Writing

One of the benefits of using Google Slides rather than Google Docs is that it provides natural divisions for main ideas. This can help students who are beginning to learn about organizing their writing. It can be used as a step between a graphic organizer and paragraph writing.

Anita first helps her students brainstorm various main ideas for a given topic. Then they are prompted to use a different slide for each main idea. This process guides students to learn how to group like ideas together in their writing, allowing them to organize their ideas and present a clear message for their audience.

A big thank you to Anita Earl for allowing us to take a peek in her classroom this week to see the great ways she’s using Google Slides to improve her instruction and increase classroom collaboration.

1 comment:

  1. I really like how Anita used Google Slides to allow her student's to work together without actually having to be together.