Saturday, September 24, 2011

Best Spelling Lesson Ever

This post describes an innovative and effective use of Google Docs forms and a class blog to engage students in a cooperative word study exercise.

As you may know from following this blog, Mr. Mitchell has a class blog (Google Sites) which he uses to describe each day's agenda and post review and assignment materials. This blog is open to the parents and students and is a well-used avenue of communication between all parties. For this lesson, Mr. Mitchell has posted a spelling quiz using a Google Docs form which is published on the web and linked in the blog so that parents and students can access it.

To take the quiz, the students open the blog, follow the link to the quiz, and complete it. Form contents are automatically returned to a Google Docs spreadsheet, which Mr. Mitchell opens live on the projector for the class to see. And that's where the word study begins.

By sorting the form responses, Mr. Mitchell and the class can immediately see the results of everyone's work. Patterns of errors can be recognized and discussed; basic concepts can be reinforced. The entire class is engaged in the process. Initially, I was concerned that students might not like to be singled out for errors, but that's clearly not the case. Students treat this as a comfortable opportunity to learn, and they are not afraid to make errors and learn from them. "I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable answer. Students get immediate feedback and have multiple opportunities to hear about rules and conventions.

1 comment:

  1. Is there any way I could see the original Google Form used to create this activity? I would love to share with my teachers; I am a Literacy Specialist at Mammoth Heights Elementary in Parker, CO.

    - Jan Anttila