Friday, April 27, 2012

Google Docs / Pinnacle Project

Using Google Docs in my classroom.

Throughout the year I have tried out several Google Docs applications, including Forms, Documents, and Presentations. By far the most useful tool for my students was Google Presentations which they used for book reviews and summaries. Google Presentations was an easy to use tool for student collaboration. In small teams students worked together to summarize novels. All team members were able to actively participate in the making of the presentations at the same time. Students found that it was easier to work on the presentations if they split up the assignment into parts and worked on different slides. Do to some lag time, it was sometimes confusing if they were working on the same slide simultaneously.

I used Google Forms for peer evaluations. They rated each project on a scale of one to five for each requirement of the project. The peer evaluations were part of their final project grade.

We used Google Documents to create class projects like our poetry unit, where students each added a poem to the document. Students found the collaboration difficult until I added a table where each student was assigned a specific slot for their poem and/or picture.

Once students were used to the logging into Google and using several of the applications, it required less and less of my input. The class became more student centered and driven.

There are few examples of my students' work using Google Docs. After looking through the examples posted, use the link for the Second Semester Pinnacle Evaluation.

Thursday, April 26, 2012
Students used Google Presentation to create book reviews of the novels we read in class.

April is Poetry Month - Part Two!

My students made Spine Poems today in the library.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
April is National Poetry Month! I love to write. Creative writing is one of my favorite things to teach, however it takes a great deal of time. It is difficult to instill that desire to write which sometime makes me want to pull my hair out. We have a wonderful Media Specialist at our school (Angela Newton). When she found an "Instant Poetry Forms" website and asked me if I was interested in trying it out with my students I jumped right in. I have to say, that even before introducing the website to my students, Angela and I were sucked into the website, laughing hysterically at some of the poems we created. After about half an hour, the students meandering in and out of the library stopped watching us skeptically and ventured over to investigate. We especially liked the One Inch Tall form.
The kids were hesitant about writing poetry at first. Once they started navigating the website and experimenting with the different forms, they became more confident. Angela and I were very impressed with what our students were able to create in a short period of time. Now, several times a day, students ask me if they can get on the computer and write some poetry.

Forget It

Forget it
You must be kidding
the monster will tear it up
I can’t sit down for a long time
I will forget what i wrote
the teacher will say it is a boring poem
it will get it dirty my tiger will eat it
I will fall asleep
my book will eat it
Time's up? Uh oh!
All I have is a dumb list of excuses.
You like it? Really? No kidding.
Thanks a lot. Would you like to see another one?


I am a butterfly
Orange and red as a peach
I eat nectar
I like nectar
I can fly
I can be beautiful
I am a butterfly



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