Student Blogging Challenge Mentor…


Just received confirmation that I was accepted as a Blogging Mentor for the 2017 Student Blogging Challenge.  My first four students I’m mentoring are 10 years old and from Vietnam. This is my first time mentoring students in a global capacity. I’m looking forward to reading the students posts and helping them grow as a blog author. The very first blog post the students wrote was about their “Favorite Food.”

After reading their posts I realized this is going to be a learning experience for me as well as the children. It hit me by surprise to learn the students from Vietnam enjoy the same foods eaten here in America. I can’t wait to read more posts by these young students while helping them grow as both writers and creators. It’s inspirational to be part of  this group of educators who are using blogs to expand upon students writing, reading, and digital citizenship skills.

Draftback Extension is Magical…

During a Google APPS workshop I tend to point out the “Revision History” Tool. Often stating how it allows the teacher to view a students work in ways they never imagined possible. Revision history permits the educator to see every step a student takes to complete a writing masterpiece. It is the closet an educator may come to understanding a student’s thought process. What makes this even easier to do is the Draftback Chrome Extension by J. Somers.

The Draftback Chrome Extension attaches to a Google Doc.  It allows the user to create a animation of the authors writing process. Like magic draftback displays every edit created up to the very last Google Doc sentence. This lets an educator view the writing process in ways they were never able to before. It allows the teacher to provide authentic proactive feedback to assist the student author with improving upon writing skills.


Creating Mind Maps with Google Drawing

Throughout a students career the focus on planning becomes a foundation to successful outcomes. One way students are taught to plan writing or a project idea is by using a Mind Map. A mind map helps the student to focus on the topic by creating a web of sub topics. Google Drawing APP is one easy way to create mind maps.

Once a student creates a Google Drawing mind map it can be inserted into a Google Doc or Slide to further grow their imagination. The student can easily scroll back to the mind map for guidance with what their writing.

How to Create a Google Drawing Mind Map

Google Drawing Elementary #CCSS #ELA Practice Skills Interactive

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(Google Logon required for copying)

Using a Google Drawing to create manipulative supports is easy to do. Not only is the support simple to create but intuitive for the student to use. Once a Google Drawing Manipulative is saved to a child’s individual Google Drive Folder the teacher can check the revision history to access the student’s use of the interactive. The revision history supports accountability for the time the student spends using the manipulative.

Use a Google Form to Support Visual Literacy

Google Forms can be one of the most versatile tools offered by the Google Apps for Education (GAfE) platform. Visual cues can be provided guiding the students to forming ideas for writing. All the data entered by the student is collected into a spreadsheet. This provides one sheet to view all the results.
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Imagine not having to flip through stacks of worksheets. One can consider Google Forms as an interactive worksheet both benefitting the student and teacher alike. What can be wrong with a tech tool which supports a dual purpose in the world of education? A Google Form is amongst one of the best tech tools an educator can use to support the growth of their student’s visual literacy skills.

Thanks to the ever expanding digital society we live in Visual Literacy has become a set of abilities which a student will use on a daily basis. The use of Visual Literacy Skills enables an individual to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media. Visual Literacy Skills nurtures both critical and creative thinking skills. One way to hone your student’s visual literacy skills is by presenting a visual picture along with a set of questions. A Google Forms is a perfect tool to both present visual cues and collect the creative writings from a group of students.

Here is an example of a Google Form for supporting Visual Literacy:


Keep an eye open for future posts about creating and using Google Forms.