Monday, October 27, 2014

Google Docs & the Writing Process

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 9.48.08 PM.png
Editing Features
Editing options support the writing process.  As students draft, edit and finalize their writing, you can identify changes made during the editing process.  Teachers can now see how students are improving their writing throughout the process.  Editing feature allows you to edit directly in the document.  Viewing allows you to read and print the document.

Suggesting encloses the suggested edits in colored brackets.  Deletions will appear with a strike-through.  A comment box will automatically appear so you or peer editors can add an explanation with your suggestion or words of encouragement!

Suggesting Samples
Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 9.47.09 PM.png Suggest an addition

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 10.01.24 PM.png Deletion

Now you can see your student’s drafting process and how he has edited his writing.  Another great Google feature is the Revision History.  (File/Revision History)  You can see changes made as well as return to a former version of the document.  (Very helpful if a student inadvertently erases a paragraph!)  Using these Google features will provide a more comprehensive overview of your students’ writing for formative and summative assessments.

Happy Writing!

Sunday, October 12, 2014


As you know, Westwood Public Schools’ grade 3-8 students will take the PARCC on-line assessment this year.  Students in Grades 3, 4, and 5 will take the Performance Based Assessment and the End of Year Assessment in both ELA and Math.  Grade 5 will also take the MCAS science assessment.  I would like to support you and our students as we prepare for the PARCC.  

Some skills we want to address include keyboarding, drop and drag features, self pacing through videos, highlighting key words and phrases, copy and paste.  Becoming comfortable with technology takes time and practice.  Students need to build their stamina.  (Common Core:  one page in a sitting in 4th grade, 2 pages in a sitting in 5th grade)  Repeated exposure to keyboarding for writing assignments, research papers, or even quick write activities will be beneficial.  Some other tools we can use:  Google forms for assessments, Brainpop videos, videos with embedded questions (EdPuzzle), and even using your classroom website to have students practice manipulating various menu features.

You can find practice tests and grade specific sample questions on the PARCC website.  (This site does not work within the Chrome browser.  You may want to open in Safari or Firefox.)  You may also want to check out Next Generation’s Website for additional sample questions.  I hope we can work together to support our students.