As many of you know, the district adopted a new Lucy Calkins’ writing curriculum this year. This writing program has students working a lot in a writer’s notebook where they can brainstorm and collect story/essay ideas, draft sections of their final piece, and revise drafts. However, all this hand written work has raised some concerns when it comes to the PARCC assessment that students will be taking in March. This assessment requires students to compose a response on the computer. So how to mesh the two?
I have found that integration is key. Although my students do a lot of their composing in their notebooks, I have found time for them to compose on the Cromebooks as well. Keyboarding has become a critical skill for all of our students, and it is vital that they acquire this skill through practice both at home and at school.Today, I had my students composing just their introductions and conclusions in a Google Doc. They had not written this piece of their opinion essays and were starting new. Gone are the days of computer lab typing like when I was in school and you had a paper draft that became a final copy. Students need an authentic experience in fresh composition using a Cromebook. I plan to continue this type of integration throughout the school year and in other ways to help prepare my students for the different kinds of composition they will encounter later in the year.