Monday, September 20, 2010

Google Docs

On a technological savvy scale of 1 to 10, I consider myself a 6.5 to a 7. I like to use technology to make teaching easier and more interesting, but I also get stuck in my ways and resist change.

As I have mentioned before, I am ridiculously lucky to have TWO, yes TWO fabulous co-teachers in my room during Reading and Writing Workshop. Now that the basic structure of Writing Workshop has been set up, we got down to business to figure out conferencing. There are three of us and 20 of them.

Our mission: We each want to routinely conference with different kids and take anecdotal notes, but we want to share one working document so that no matter who conferences with a student, her notes will be in one location.

Our solution: Google Docs. My two fabulous co-teachers and I all have access to one Excel file on Google Docs. The Excel file has 20 tabs. Each tab is a different student. One each student's page we have fields for the date, behaviors observed, teaching points, follow-up?, and teacher's initials.

We have a check-list in the classroom to record who we meet with and when. During independent writing and conferencing time, we choose a kiddo and sit down with them. They have their writing, we have our laptops.

I'm really excited about this. Not only do we have one working document -- I HEART efficiency, but we also get to see each other's comments. I will learn from my co-teachers what they see and how they turn it into teaching points. And hopefully I will return the favor.

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