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Creating a Realistic Fiction Story Using Google Classroom

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Keywords: English, Creative Writing, Google Classroom, Live Feedback
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Reading, Writing
Grades 7 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Digital Citizenship
View Full Text of Standards
School: Franklin Middle School, Somerset, NJ
Planned By: Ron Krauss
Original Author: Ron Krauss, Somerset
Students for the past few weeks, followed multiple steps in order to create a Realistic Fiction Story. During those weeks, students were doing the process on the computers (when I had them. When I didn't they worked in their Writer's Notebooks). By doing their process on Google Classroom made it very easy to monitor students as they were working as well as give instant feedback when needed. Also, I hd students peer revise each other's work by sharing it with a partner which allowed the partner to give feedback as well (This was most excellent for all students but especially for the students who had poor handwriting. It eliminated people complaining that they couldn't read their partner's handwriting). When we get to this part of the lesson, typing up the final draft, I can watch live to see if students are still following the lessons that were taught on that day. Even though they are typing up their final piece, there were still lessons being done on revising leads, endings, and how to use a checklist to ensure the paper is the best that it can be. Also, while students were working, they had access to all precious and current lessons on their Google Classroom account. They could refer to any slide they would need to review in order to improve the paper (especially after they received feedback from me). Also, while students are working they were able to post questions to me either for help or for more elaboration on my feedback. I noticed that most students took full advantage of this, especially my shyer students. In the past before using this type of technology many students would not seek out help because they were embarrassed to do so. Now that they can do it without having everyone seeing them come up to me for help, which caused a higher amount of students to seek out my help. For the students still not seeking help, I could instantly see their struggles and call them up to give my assistance. In the end I had a very high success rate of students being at least proficient, if not higher, on the end piece they turned in.
School does not have a 1:1 Ratio for Teacher to Laptop Carts. Therefore, very hard to do these types of lessons daily because we have to always look for a cart that is available to sign out.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This lesson can be used in any class that does any type of writing. It allows the teacher to see what the students are doing in real time and able to give feedback instantly. It allows the teacher to catch any weaknesses ahead of time so that they can pull up individuals and/or small groups to have a re-teachable moment. This should then raise the students' ability to be successful and to grow as a learner.
In my case, we then had a celebration in which students walked around the room and read each other's papers. They would leave feedback one last time stating what they liked about their story and what could they do in the future to improve their craft as a writer of fiction.
Materials: English/Language Arts, Mobile Labs
Other Items: 1 Bretford Mobility Cart 30 for MacBooks, $3299.95 each, total of $3299.95
30 MacBook Pro 13" , $1199.00 each, total of $35970.00