Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Using MS Word to Prove You Learned Something

The kids in my class have been writing about a "hoax" animal that they created using a graphics program to mash two animals together. They have brainstormed ideas about their animal "mashup", researched facts about both animals, did a little creative graphics work with photos obtained by searching But now it's time to improve our writing skills.

The kids wrote a 1 page article about their hoax animal. They then put it in a document library on my classroom website. This allowed them to share and and comment each other's articles using the "comment" feature in MS Word. But how can they show they have learned from their peer? By creating another copy of their document, making changes, and using the "highlight tool" to show what changes they made.

1.) Open their file with peer comments on it.
2.) Use "Save As" to create another file - lets tag the ending of this file with the word "Edited" at the end of your file name . For example "The Turcan - edited" This creates a second copy of the file.
3.) Read the commments your peers have made on your work, and make changes to improve your writing.
4.) Highlight those changes with the highlight tool.

In my mind this is a very tangible way to show proof that you have made improvements to your writing, and isn't that what school's about?