Yesterday, my students completed their Friday Journal Entry as they do every Friday. For this Friday Journal, the students watched The Berenstain Bears Don’t Pollute. In this short video, the Brother Bear and Sister Bear try to convince Papa Bear not to cut down a tree in the forest. After viewing the video, my students brainstormed a list of different animals that they thought would be affected by this tree being cut down. Their Friday Journal activity was to write a letter to Paper Bear from one of these animals in an attempt to convince Papa not to cut down the tree. For our current TLCP (Teaching Learning Critical Pathways) goal, the students are working on letter writing and writing letters from different points of view. This activity met both of these goals. Students were encouraged to use the Letter Writing Rubric to assess their letter while they were writing it and after they finished writing it.
As the students got started on this activity, a number of them asked me if they could write their letter in Google Docs. I agreed, for writing on a computer is still writing. As my students were typing their letters, the principal walked by my classroom, and she was thrilled with what she saw. The students were using dictionaries to help spell unfamiliar words, and they were working together to help edit their letters and make them as good as they could be. They were not writing single sentences, but producing letters with multiple ideas that really helped convince their audience of their point of view. They were even going over to the performance wall to assess their writing before finishing their work. They were so engaged in this writing activity that writing actually became fun. With what they said and what they did, I know that my students helped convince my principal of the value of writing on a computer.
Here are some samples of the letters that my Grade 1 students wrote:
It really is amazing what Grade 1 students can produce!
On Friday, January 22nd, the school is having its District Review and Board representatives will be in the school for the day. My students will be completing literacy centres during the time when the team of Board representatives visits my classroom, and a group of students will be using Google Docs to complete a point of view writing activity. I know that these students are excited to redefine writing for these Board representatives too: writing does not always need to include a pencil and paper.
I would love to hear your success stories with writing on the computer. What do your children think of word processing? Has writing on a computer changed your child’s attitude about writing? All comments are welcome. I can’t wait to read what you have to say!