Essentially, I create a Google doc each week with a different writing focus. On the doc I create a table with space for student writing and teacher comments. Students add their stories, paragraphs, essays, and ideas during the week. I check in each night and comment on each child's efforts.
There are many aspects of this assignment that I like including the following:
- The thread is public, but not too public. It is shared by our class community and a few more. Hence children have a good size audience for their work.
- Children may easily read each other's work, and get ideas from one another.
- Families may read their child's work and other children's work to have a good idea about fourth grade writing skills, challenges, and strengths.
- I get to check in on and respond to student writing each week in a timely way.
- I have the chance to assess individual student writing as well as the class writing weekly, and use that information to inform follow-up writing focus lessons.
- The assignments are generally light hearted and enjoyable to read.
- The assignment provides good practice for the Common Core expectation that all fourth graders can type one page of text with skill.