I was talking to some teachers today about how to bring in computer skills while teaching writing.

  • Keep your laptop or computer close by to your whiteboard where you are modelling writing
  • when you are talking about capital letters, ask "How do you make a capital letter using the computer?" (Shift and opposite hand for the letter)
  • "What fingers do I use to make a full stop?" (ring finger on right hand)
  • "How do you make a space?" (one press on the space bar with your thumb)
  • external image synonym.jpgwhatever your teaching point is in writing think about how the children would need to do it in a word processor and make that a computer teaching point i.e. "What is a synonym for the word 'nice'?" (right click on the word and select synonyms in the sub menu)

Remember 'Whatever your teaching point is in Writing could also be a computer skills teaching point!'

external image mindmapping+story.jpg Here are some ideas for drafting writing that have worked well in classrooms

Mindmap ideas for writing, use coloured felt tips, glue into writing book.
WordProcessor (Word, Pages, Appleworks
Set the page line spacing to 2.5 external image 2.png
•Children type for a given amount of time, (15 – 30 minutes)
•If they haven’t finished in that time then they carry on with pen and paper
•They proofread and edit their work with a pen, publishing does not have to be completed on the computer

Using Graphic Organisers
•A group of 2-4 children can work on one computer drafting
external image description+writing.png

•They print it out when finished

•They write their own individual stories using their drafts in their writing books using their graphic organiser draft
external image recount.pngOR
•You could have blank printouts for children to write in and then glued into books and then the story is rewritten using the graphic organiser as a framework for the writing

Here are some other ways that you might like to try that teachers have found successful

•If you have a PDA external image PDA.pngthey have WordProcessing software on them, perfect for the intrapersonal (self smart) student, who likes to work alone. Use the infrared or Bluetooth to send to a computer
•Old blackboards external image blackboard.jpg , take a photograph, print out and stick in writing book
•On an OHP external image OHP.jpg, students can write with coloured OHP pens and stick in writing book
••On a whiteboard (photos can be taken as evidence of writing) external image whiteboard.jpg
•Magnetic Board external image magnetic.jpg, take photos
external image drafting+board.png

Use a Drafting task board to manage the drafting choices.
This example on the right shows the different drafting choices and the names of the students