Monday, January 24, 2011

Google Docs Love Fest

Guess what? My fabo colleague did come over but we didn't talk shop. We played with my kid. So now, Educon is days away and I'm still not prepared... but she is, because she's awesome like that.

Time for me to organize my thoughts.

I've been thinking about how we've been using Google Docs for our writing conference notes and as the classroom teacher, this is why I love them:
  • I can't get to 18 kiddos during the week to conference, but because I am very lucky to have 2 other teachers in the room, we as a team, can. Our shared document allows me to review every conference with every kid. It's like we are one uber-super-teacher.
  • I've picked up language from my co-teachers and vice versa. We now speak in the same "writing language." This consistency is so important.
  • Our kids think we share the same brain, so it's amazing to see them view us as one entity, and every now and again, it's fun to mess with them.
  • This is a non-writing point, but if I see a possible behavior issue, I can use the chat function to ask a coteacher to look in on the offender.
  • In an environment when planning time is precious and hard to come by, using Google Docs allows us to plan and collaborate during conferencing, and also on our own time. We're already one or two steps ahead when we sit down for our face to face planning time.
I also use Google Docs for my own reading conferences, remediation logs, weekly lesson planning, and basically any other item that a kindergarten teacher might need. This is why I love them:
  • I hate paper. I HATE PAPER. Really hate it. Hate isn't a strong enough word for how I feel about paper.
  • All of my important information is in one location, and accessible from any computer with Internet access. My most-visited docs are on my iGoogle page for super easy access.
  • When other colleagues ask me about using Google Docs, or what my plans look like, I simply add them with view permissions. A colleague will often pop in and say, "hey, I see you're working on ______ next week. What are you using/doing?" And boom, we share.
The practical benefits of using Google Docs, or something similar, are so great, I can't imagine NOT using them. I'll never go back!


Teri said...

Hello, I am a kindergarten teacher at the new STEM school in Colorado and I love your google docs idea. I was wondering if you could add me onto your google docs page so I could see how you have your writing conferences page set-up? This would be a great way to set-up my writing conferences next year. Thank you for the great suggestion. My email address is

Teri said...

This is Teri Crump and here is the address to my google page for work: Thank you again!