Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Google Drive -- Writing

By: KC
This is a draft of a student's writing. I love Google Drive because I can access their writing from home if students share their work with me. :)

New England Handouts

Link to handouts:

4th Grade Writing Mini-Lessons

I love to teach writing. In fact, I have several writing PowerPoints for sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. However, I don't use the PowerPoints with my students. Instead, I model writing in front of them. (See photo above.)

I write for about ten minutes a day. During this time, I think aloud, and students hear what's going on in my head while I'm writing. At the end of the ten minutes, I ask students what they learned. That's what most of the comments to the right of the paper show. To do this in Microsoft Word, click the review tab. You can add comments and/or track changes.

You may notice typos or grammatical errors in my draft. Tomorrow, I'll reread and proof for conventions.

Sometimes, when I finish a piece, I turn it into a PowerPoint for other teachers to use with their students. I try to break it down into teaching chunks.

For those of you that have attended my writing sessions in the past, I thought I'd upload this to show you what I'm doing in writing right now. I've been working on this piece for four days now. It's about two pages long so far.

The writing below is a 4th grade student's draft. She informed me that she hasn't proofed for conventions at all and that I may be mad when I read it. I told her to keep writing; she can edit later. :) If I remember, I'll add another photo of the finished product. I like students to proof their own work before I do. Otherwise, the work is mine and not theirs.

It's amazing what kids can do when you let them go with their writing. :)

By:  EM

The writing below is a finished copy by one of my 4th-grade students. It's one of her free writing pieces and has only been self-edited.

A Day in the Life of a Dog
Written by:  KT

        Hi, my name’s Jasper, and my day starts with the ring of an alarm clock. I jump up and run around my house because I know I’m going to get my delicious food. I go and wake up my little brother. He yawns; stretches and then starts to jump up and down in his crate because he knows it’s time for breakfast.
        When my mom or dad comes out I wait at the door excitedly while they get my food out of the garage. They bring my food in and pour it in my bowl and then they go and get my little brother out of his crate and we devour the food in less than 5 minutes.
        I book it down the stairs because I have to go to the bathroom, bad. My mom or dad lets me out and I let it all out.
        I look around curiously. Where’s my brother? I hear vicious growling behind the tall shed. I go and investigate. Benji (my brother) is growling at one of those cul-de-sac cats. They are as aggravating as the Barbie Girl Song. I go help Benji scare away the irritating cat.
        I hear something coming from the playground behind my house. I hear children laughing and having a great time at the park. I always love to talk to them and to laugh with them especially the mini ones.
        I can’t believe how kind kids are because sometimes they throw me sports balls. They will throw me footballs, tennis balls, soccer balls and many more. The sports balls are fun to play with and when I get tired of playing with them, my little brother Benji and I like to eat them for a pleasant afternoon snack.
        People call me the bird whisperer. They call me that because I hunt birds that are bathing in my bracing water. So, if you have any friends that are birds, tell them to stay away from my freezing water. My family doesn’t know how I get the birds or why I hunt the birds, but I guess it’s in my blood. I don’t actually eat the birds… I guess I just hunt them so they are out of my silver water bowl.
        Every now and then there is this frosty white stuff that sprays onto the ground. It is freezing cold. It is as cold as a snowstorm in Antarctica. My little brother Benji gets mad at the sub-zero snow and he likes to try to fight it, but his nose just ends up buried deep in the snow. I’m lucky because my dad built Benji and I an awesome dog house and he put warm carpeting in it. The carpeting is as warm as a bonfire.
        Every so often I hear some ear piercing roars. They are as loud as 5 lawnmowers combined. After some thunder, you usually get rained on, and you get soaked. That’s when my warm doghouse comes in handy. My brother Benji gets so scared that he is a vigorously vibrating phone. He leaps into the doghouse so fast that he looks like an Olympic runner. I go in there with him but I don’t sprint into it like he does, instead I walk in like a turtle. We wait, and wait, and wait until… my awesome family gets home.
        They get home and we tell them we want to come in. We yell like referees when they don’t have a whistle. Finally, my friend Kailey comes and gets us. We are as happy as kids in a candy shop. We get upstairs and sometimes we have some leftover crust from my friends Kailey and Jayden’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (because they don’t like the crust).
        My friends Kailey and Jayden sometimes do tricks with Benji and I. They will give us treats when we do the tricks they want us to do.  The treats are as tasty as cupcakes.  My family has taught me to do the tricks sit, nose, lay down, come, stay, and others but not roll over cause it was “to tough” for them to teach me that. My brother Benji has only learned a few tricks because he is way too disobedient to teach. He doesn’t stay, he doesn’t lie down, and he most of all hates to stay still. I will be playing with a chew toy and he’ll just waddle right up and take it away from me. I try to chase him for it and so does Kailey but he runs and takes it right into his crate and Kailey and I both know neither of us can fit in his tiny crate. Once Kailey and I are gone he will mosey out and lie on the carpet and chew on my toy—it’s like he’s trying to rub it in my face.
        My family sits on the couch and stares at this big black thing and they hit a big button on this long remote looking thingie majiger and the black thing lights up and turns into a colorful thing. I think they are spying on people. They always watch people dancing and they even sometimes watch people’s life and they laugh at it like it’s a comedy. It’s as crazy as feral cats. I’ve always wondered if my family was super spies. Sometimes they wear these dark glasses and other times they wear these big heavy coats. Sometimes I just don’t understand my family. They can be mischievous sometimes.
        Last year one of the kids, Jayden got this new pet and it eats, sleeps, does its business, and run on his loud wheel. The wheel gets so annoying at night when you’re trying to sleep. The wheel at night almost never stops turning. It’s like a never ending black hole of noise. I wonder if Jayden is trying to replace us. I’m very curious about that. I’m as curious as Curious George.
        At the end of the night my family put Benji in his crate and they go lay in bed. Have you ever wondered what a dog does over night and have you ever known anything missing? I’m just kidding I don’t steal stuff like some other dogs, also known as Benji. Benji steals it and chews it up like it’s a chew toy. He’s known as the robber in the family. Well during the night I mostly sleep but I also mop the floor with my tongue. My family never rewards me for how much crumbs I “pick up”. But there are some really tasty things on the floor from dinner. I usually get tired of cleaning so I go in Kailey’s room and go into a deep sleep on the floor.
        I wake up the next morning and I repeat the same thing in the morning so if you want to hear about the morning again, go back to the top. That's usually how my days go all the time.