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Saturday, September 12

Why I Love Digital Writer’s Notebooks



Teaching writers workshop digitally equals one word, yikes! I love teaching a writing class in person. Working side by side with students to help them grow in their craft as writers is simply the best. How can I possibly continue my writer's workshop style of instruction if we have to go digital this year? Let me share that these were only a few of my worries as I planned my writing instruction for the 2020 school year. I like to believe that wherever there is a big problem, there is a solution somewhere just waiting to be found. After much stress eating and brainstorming, I finally found a way to continue teaching writing the way I love no matter what the school year throws at me. Take that 2020! Read more as I share my solution to my writing instruction dilemma. 



Right now, I am teaching in a hybrid model. This means that I see one group of students on Monday and Tuesday. Then I see my second group of students on Thursday and Friday. Wednesday everyone including teachers is at home doing distance learning. When my kiddos are with me, I am free to teach my workshop writing instruction as I always have. However, I still want my students to be able to continue their writing pieces during “at home learning” days. So, this year my kiddos are using a new writer’s notebook, a digital one! 


Here’s Why I Am Loving Digital Writer’s Notebooks So Far:


1.) There is no concern about forgetting a hard copy notebook at home or school as my kiddos travel between, “at home” or, “in-person” learning days.

2.) I can still use the same graphic organizers that I use every year (because they are digital now).

3.) I can keep the same workshop model even when my students are at home.

4.) Everything is easily organized in Google Classroom for my kiddos and me hallelujah!



How Digital Writer’s Notebooks Work:


A digital writer’s notebook is just like the notebooks I set up with my students in person each year, except instead of using a binder we’re using computers and Google Classroom. Once I made a copy of the Google Slides presentation (the notebook), I assigned the whole notebook to my students in Google Classroom (with no due date). HEADS UP! Be sure to click, “make each student a copy” when you assign the presentation, trust me sister you don’t want to forget that! Once assigned, I can work with my students both in class and digitally throughout the entire writing process using the premade slides. It has been so much easier to keep track of my student's work than having them submit countless Google Docs.



Why My Students Love Digital Writer’s Notebooks:

1.) Easy for them to use

2.) Bright, colorful, and fun pictures

3.) They don’t have a physical notebook that they have to keep track of


Right now we are in our Personal Narrative writing unit and have just started using digital writer’s notebooks. Instead of overwhelming stress, I am now feeling prepared (I know shocker considering it’s 2020 and we can’t seem to prepare for anything these days). I feel prepared because now I know that no matter what the school year brings, hybrid, in person, or distance learning, I have a tool that will help me continue to teach writing the way I love. If you want to check out some of the digital write’s notebooks I will be using with my students this year, click HERE.