Charlotte's Web ThingLink

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Using Prompts for Student Writing/EduWin for Carla Dunavan

Sometimes having students find inspiration to find a topic to write about can be difficult. I was always trying to find innovative ways to provide prompts. While there are lots of resources and ideas out there, here are two you might like to try.

Story Starters from Scholastic offers creative writing prompts. The online program asks for a first name, but not an e-mail address. The first name will automatically be entered if your student uses the online feature that allows them to type. Since Story Starter is a web-based program, you can assign it to your students to use on their Chromebooks. The prompts are leveled grades K-6th, and the program does change the prompt choices. There are four themes, Adventure, Sci Fi, Fantasy, and Scrambler. Each comes with a Teacher’s Guide and a Spin Lever you or your students can pull to come up with an interesting prompt.

If the student has accessed the web version, they’ll be able to choose a format, notebook, letter, newspaper, or post car, and can choose to add a drawing. Once the student is finished, the finished product can be saved to their Google Drive account. 

All they’ll need to do is choose “Print.” They’ll then need to make sure the Destination shows that it should be sent to their Google Drive. You’ll see that the Destination shows as Google Drive and that my username is shown. Once it is saved, your student will be able to find it saved as a PDF in their Google Drive. While it can be shared, since it is a PDF, it will not be able to be edited.

Another way I enjoyed giving student writing prompts was by using pictures I had cut out of magazines. I had a huge file of my favorites that my team and I used over the years as homework or in-class prompts that (sometimes, if we were lucky) tied to what we were doing in class. Enter Photo Prompts, a tumblr site with lots of photo prompts that can be filters by topic.

Of course, there are lots of other writing prompt websites. Write About is a great tool and offers a writing community. The site offers beautiful pictures and poses deep, thoughtful questions. Teachers can set up a class by signing up with their Google Apps for Education account. You’ll get a code that makes it easy for students to join your class. Geared more toward the older student, Write About offers students a chance to join writing communities based on their interests. That gives them an authentic audience to share with and receive feedback from. If you are interested, there is lot’s more information here.
EduWin/Carla Dunavan and WeVideo

WeVideo is a great way to use the Chromebooks to have your students create multi-media presentations. Want to get started with WeVideo in your classroom? Carla Dunavan has shared a short Google Presentation she created to use with her class. She shows how your students can install a Chrome extension that makes it really easy for your students to access WeVideo from Google Drive. Thank you Carla for sharing!