I love creating environments for students to write creatively. Seeing students engage with words and proudly share their work makes me burst with the joy of teaching. Recently I was asked to share some ideas on how to use Canvas for teaching writing. Here are some of the ideas that were shared:
- Set up each student with their own ongoing discussion with the teacher or a peer with students attaching a photo, or word doc of their drafts, editing process or published writing.
- Use the recording tool to record the students reading their writing aloud. Encourage expression, use of punctuation, editing when it doesn't make sense...
- Evidence of different text types developing during the year creates a mini portfolio.
Multiple users can work together on the same document at the same time. These are saved in real-time, meaning a change made by any of its users will be immediately visible to everyone.
Use Collaborations to:
- Have a ‘Word War’ or debate with pairs or small groups of students.
- Students could share work into a collaborative powerpoint
- Insert mock texts with deliberate errors for students to be detectives to find the errors.
- Copy and paste notes that everyone can access.
- Share bullet-point lists or agendas for upcoming synchronous class or group time or meetings.
- Create a text-based whiteboard that everyone in the classroom can see and refer to later.
- A peer review assignment enables students to provide feedback on another student's assignment submission.
- Peer reviews are a tool that allows communication between students and can help students master the concepts of a course and learn from each other.
Students must be well trained for this!
- Use online embedded tools like padlet to showcase published writing for the class to enjoy, or for the school newsletter or website.
- Encourage the students to record themselves reading their writing. Upload to Padlet or class Canvas page.
- Use websites like Pobble 365 (http://www.pobble365.com/) or Literacy Shed (Home - THE LITERACY SHED) to provide provocative images and wordy challenges.
- Harness discussions and assignments within Canvas to collect students ideas based on these provocations.
- Use images in a discussion to set criteria for each quick write to include eg. two onomatopoeia, three adverbs, one simile, four adjectives, two headings...
- Embed brainstorming tools like Padlet to collect synonyms – then cline them (order them) cline | Definition of cline in English by Oxford Dictionaries
- Collect fascinating words - and their definitions
- Collect sensational sentences – and explain why
- Collect onomatopoeia – make some up,
Goal setting and reflections
Use discussions, Microsoft forms or online tools as exit tickets to set goals or reflect on.
Interviews with authors
Embed videos of popular authors to:
- spark discussion
- brainstorm other questions to ask
- students interview each other based on their own writing
Bump it Up
- Students could access this from any location using their device, compared to one location in the classroom.
- Place a piece of anonymous student work on the discussion board and then ask students to discuss the elements that they can see being used in the piece of work. e.g. varied sentences are used, paragraphs with one idea etc. Students could then give the piece of work a 1, 2 or 3.
- This process would be repeated with another two examples making sure as a teacher you have a low, medium and high example.
- Students then use the discussion points as a way of working out where their individual work sits.
- Once they have assessed where their work sits they check the example and read the discussion points to work out what they need to do to bump up their work.
Which ideas will you start implementing and what support might you need?
Please find the infographic based on this blog created by the talented Erin Keefe.