Google Docs
Practical classroom ideas

Google Docs can be stored online and shared with your students. They can be used to create your assignment as well as for the outline and rubric for the assignment. Additionally, you can easily collaborate with a colleague and work on the document together in real-time. As well, you can keep samples of a variety of student work and show students exemplars to give them an idea of the expectations in class.

*NOTE: For all examples, permissions can be set to allow shared users the ability to EDIT, OFFER SUGGESTIONS, MAKE COMMENTS or VIEW the document only.

Saving and Showing Exemplars
The good, the bad and the ugly*
A Few Examples Can Really Help! Sometimes students benefits greatly from seeing what worked on an assignment and what didn't. I like to keep exemplars of student work to show them what things have been done well and what things did not go so well. Here is an example from an assignment on creating conclusions to a story that leaves you hanging:

Exemplar 1 - Confusing?!?!
Exemplar 2 - Twists and Turns
Exemplar 3 - Wrapped Up Nicely
Exemplar 4 - Well Written!
*Find out more about "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"
Single Student Writing
Formative assessment and timely feedback
  • METHOD 1: assignment is distributed using Google Classroom
  • METHOD 2: student creates a doc & shares the doc with the instructor
  • instructor offers feedback
  • changes can be made by the student OR an assessment mark can be given at this point
Click Here to see an example
Single Student Writing
Building Bridges - Transitions
SYNOPSIS: Students use colored words to indicate understanding of objectives. A wide variety of research has shown that student self-reflection is one of the most important ways you can improve student achievement. This execise allows students to reflect on the objective and demonstrate their understanding.
*NOTE: This makes use of custom menus I wrote to show transitions words in the doc directly to the students. Unfortunately, unless you are an editor on the doc, you will not be able to see them. If you would like to see how the custom menus and sidebars work, send me an email and I will create a new copy and share it with you. :)
  • METHOD 1: assignment is distributed using Google Classroom
  • METHOD 2: instructor shares template with students 
  • instructor offers feedback
Click Here to see an example
Single Student Writing
Sentence Fluency: The long and short of it
SYNOPSIS: Go with the flow...beginning with a capital letter we wind our way over words and phrases until we've expressed a complete thought. Students come to understand some key components of sentence fluency, namely, a variety in sentence length. Just as using sentences with different beginnings helps make your writing easier to read and understand, using sentences of different lengths and different structures helps, too. They can use the power of Google Docs to help them out! Using the word count feature, students highlight sections and count words for each sentence. Next, they re-write the passage and try to get a greater degree of sentence variety in their version of the piece. Later, we will apply this same practice in some free writing. Once again, this example uses student self-reflection to demonstrate understanding.
  • METHOD 1: assignment template is distributed using Google Classroom and shares with another student
  • METHOD 2: student creates a doc & shares the doc with the instructor and another student
  • instructor moderates
Click Here to see an example
Single Student Writing
Self Check: Do I know the objective?
SYNOPSIS: This is a mini lesson using a quick little self-check. We have already completed the main lesson and now we are going to apply it to a piece of writing. This task allows students to perform a SELF-CHECK and see if they are really making sure their sentence beginnings have some variety. It is meant to be used on a prior piece of writing they have already completed, or have recently finished. This self-check can be applied to a wide variety of objectives, especially in L.A.
  • METHOD 1: teacher uses Google Classroom to assign the mini-lesson template 
  • METHOD 2: teacher shares the mini-lesson template with students
  • student opens template and completes writing assignment 
  • student checks sentence beginnings with highlights 
  • extensions: check transitions, spelling, punctuation, sentence-fluency, voice, word choice, etc...
Single Student Writing
Persuasive Writing: Using rubrics and self-reflection to track objectives
    SYNOPSIS: This exercise gives the student a rubric and objectives to track and highlight in their own writing. Students can use any piece of writing as long as there are specific objectives to be tracked by the student. The self-reflection comes in when students use the rubric to assess themselves and assign a mark for themselves on all aspects of the assignemnt. 
    • METHOD 1: assignment is distributed to the students via Google Classroom 
    • METHOD 2: instructor shares the doc with students
    • instructor moderates as student self-reflects and completes objectives
    Click Here to see an example
    Paired Student Writing
    Peer editing
    • METHOD 1: assignment is distributed using Google Classroom and students share with one another
    • METHOD 2: student creates a doc & shares the doc with the instructor and another student
    • instructor and student(s) offers feedback
    • edits, suggestions, comments changes can be made by the student or instructor
    Collaborative Group Writing
    SYNOPSIS: This is an icebreaker activity you could use at the beginning of the year to get kids to share things about themselves in a new and less pressure packed way. Some kids do not like to stand up and tell everyone about themselves at the start of the year, but we all know that opening up is a key to building a strong and safe classroom community. Here is a unique way to do it that just may get your students engaged! Create a Doc and enter your students names into separate 1column x 2 row tables (that way, the kids will know where to type). Under their name, they are to type three or more things they like. This can be modified to anything you wish and scaled to any grade level.
    • METHOD 1: teacher creates assignment in classroom and shares the doc with "Students can edit file"* privileges
      • *"Students can edit file" means that ALL students will be editors of the the assignment doc
    • METHOD 2: teacher creates a Doc and shares editing privileges with the entire class
    • teacher gets link to students in some way, shape or form (using Classroom, in webpage or via gmail account during sharing process)
    • students log on and go to the page (webpage or email) that contains the link when everyone is logged on 
    • students can click on the link to open the Doc instructor moderates 
    Click Here to view the template
    Collaborative Group Writing
    Social Studies & Health: Characteristics of Great Groups
    SYNOPSIS: It is important to make sure you have a routine for students to get into when working with Google Docs. The method by which you construct and deliver your routines is entirely up to you. I'm being very specific and deliberate in how the students enter in their info as to ease my ability to find and mark the document.

    I will show you a best practice I figured out through a bit of trial and error...

    1. One student in the group can open the Assignment Doc Template
      • Click Here to open your assignment. Follow the instructions in the assignment Doc
      • Make sure to Share the document with your teacher before you get started by clicking on the "Share" tab to access the sharing settings for the document. 
    2. Make sure to Share the Document with your group members - click on the "Share" tab to access the sharing settings for the document. 
    3. Other Group Members can open the Doc by going to their Google Docs folder and find the Doc by clicking on the "Shared with me"  in their Drive. 
    4. If the Document page was already open, users can refresh their page and see the new document. 
    Click Here to view the template