21st Century Writing in Google Docs – with 1st graders!

So, I will begin by saying I am very blessed with an amazing student intern right now!  As we began our fairytale writing unit, we had our plan of how the gradual release would happen.  As they wrapped up their partner fairytale writing last Friday she said, “Hey, why don’t I take these home and type each of them up in Google docs and you can share them out to each of them.  We can do the edit and revise process through Docs and each kid can change up the story how they want.  They will probably even come out with different stories.”  I thought, oh that is awesome!  I have done this thing in 2nd grade, but this is 1st grade and they are still learning this process, but hey…..if you know me, I am up for anything challenging! Give them something and just see what they can do with it. Plus, isn’t this what we do when we write?

Sidenote: For these little ones, having to write an entire story (which can take multiple days), go back to edit and revise at a first grade level (once again, multiple days), THEN have to rewrite the final so that it is readable and presentable….well, it takes every ounce of the love of writing out as well as makes for some irritable children!  This experience opened eyes to new things!  It almost seemed that for once, they were engaged in the writing process because it meant something to them.  Not that this was the first time we had done this, but because it was on the IPAD!  Amazing, right?  This is an example of 21st century collaborating skills at their finest!  I cannot tell you how much more creative their stories turned out, as well as the language they used from taking the time to change words!  Friday afternoon we printed the story and began the illustrations.  I will post pictures of them when we read to our Kinder friends next week!  They are SOOO proud! I am glad Ms. Osen suggested it and I went for it.  Teamwork! 

That Monday, when the kids opened up their typed story I shared to their Google Drive, they went crazy! From that day on, every spare moment they wanted to change their stories and work on them.  It was hilarious to see their faces while they were working on it and Ms. Osen and I would pop in to see what they were doing or help them.  They would see our flashing cursor because we were also in the document.  They said, “This is just like Minecraft!  We are in the same world!”  Who knew, writing and Minecraft were alike?!

Here is a picture of them working on changing overused verbs and making them vivid verbs after a mini lesson we had. They wanted to use the resources, but no one wanted to take them and go so they pulled up a chair and working like a “movie theater” they said!  HA!  These kids crack me up!

More work in progress happening here.  They were reading and rereading, changing words to be more exciting, deleting phrases, and paying attention to what they were writing!

Author: Bridget Visser

I am a passionate educator advocating for ALL Children! Love all things around Student Voice, Literacy, Technology, Innovation, Student Design, and Empowering Others in positive ways! I am a learner, energized by connecting with other educators sharing their learning!