Technology Tuesday Tried It: Guided Writing with the Popplet App!
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I love teaching writing in connection with reading because I find that my students show what they have learned in our reading activities by applying it to their writing. It may be something simple like spelling a sight word correctly or remembering a special vowel combination in their words or something a little more complex where they are using ideas they learned in a text in their writing. Either way I am so proud of them and I like to let them know how glad I am that they remembered such things. I usually celebrate with them by telling our whole group, “I love the way (student name) remembered that the word sunny ends with the letter y which sometimes says e” or “I am so proud of (student name) for using an idea from our story in his writing.” It takes just a few seconds to do, but my little friends get the biggest grins on their face when they are recognized for their hard work!
I’m linking up with Technology Tailgate for their weekly Techie Tuesday Link Up and Fourth Grade Flipper for her Tried It Tuesday! There are some great ideas linked up with both these blogs, so I recommend going to check out the other ideas. Keep on reading to find out what I tried out recently that happens to be technology related!
Common Core Alignment:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.2 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.1 Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.
So, I do a variation of what I consider Guided Writing. Basically, it is always in small groups (granted all my groups are small groups, but it can work in a full classroom too) and I meet with each student before during or after our writing time. We either set goals together for the student’s writing that day (such as- adding punctuation to sentences, remembering silent e, etc.), talk about what they have written so far and what else they could add to give the story more details or review what they have written and talk about the great things they did in their writing. I start out our writing time with our Phonemic Awareness activity- I say a word and my little friends put down a card for each sound they hear in the word while saying the sounds. (Our spring themed ones are grasshoppers and flower pots!) We do this for a few minutes so that they are warmed up for writing.
Then I will read a quick story based on the theme of our writing topic and model how to write in our journals. I model every time before we write because I find that this gets them in the right mindset for writing each time. They need all the little extra pointers and reminders! I regularly refer back to our Phonemic Awareness activity and emphasize how I am saying all the sounds I hear just like we do with our grasshoppers or flower pots.
Recently I added a little brainstorming activity into our writing time because I started feeling like my little friends would start writing and be done in literally 30 seconds and well we just really need more practice writing than what you can get done in 30 seconds! I really love this free app called Popplet Lite– it can be used in so many different ways, but for now we have just been using it as a brainstorming tool. The students love this app just as much as I do because they can write on it, draw and connect their ideas! All they have to do to use this app is tap the screen twice and a little box pops up, they can then choose to write, draw, do both or even take a picture. At this time, I’m just having my students write one word and draw a picture to match since they are doing their sentence writing in their journals.
My little friends then bring their iPads to the table to start their writing- they use the Popplet they created as a reference to make sure they include all their details!
My little friends use inventive spelling for their journals and I guided them when necessary, but I try my hardest to just let them write! I then go back and write my “teacher writing” under/next to their sentences while telling them how nicely they did their kid writing. It helps me assess their capabilities as a writer and helps make them feel proud and confident in their writing. I find this to be especially beneficial for struggling writers because it gives them a chance to see a goal they are striving to accomplish while feeling good about what they have done so far.
In all these pictures, my little friends are writing in their Spring Think, Draw, Write Journals, but really you can incorporate Popplet and Guided Writing into whatever you use during your writing time. I don’t always use topics, but I find that my little friends need guidance in regard to where to get started with writing so I do this journal in combination with a ‘free write’ journal. You can check out my Spring Think, Draw, Write Journals here. Also, here is the link to the Spring Phonemic Awareness Pack if you are looking to add a fun spring themed activity to your Phonemic Awareness routine!