Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Surprising Intention

Digilit Sunday

Today I am participating in Digital Learning Sunday with Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche.  This week Margaret has encouraged us to write with the idea of "intent."  
I am not a regular writer with Digital Learning Sunday, because most times I feel I have very little to offer.  I use technology in my classroom, but I am what I would call "a work in progress."  Saturday while I was grading some student writing,  I had an online conversation with Julieanne Harmatz, and I knew I wanted to write about it.

Let me back up to Thursday night.  During the Good to Great chat {#g2great}, I tweeted if anyone had created a bookmark for lifting a line to write about reading. Lifting a line is not something we have done very much, and I just wasn't getting the reflection I wanted.  Julieanne, along with Fran McVeigh, asked me some good thinking questions which I referred back to as I was grading.

This year I have dabbled with Google Classroom with the intent of creating a more digital literacy environment.  We also use Google Docs within our distrct as a collaboration tools among teachers.

As I was grading one particular student's writing, I realized I could share it with Julieanne and get her feedback on it.  We were able to comment back and forth as if we were sitting together at a table at school sharing student work.  She pointed out a certain line my student wrote and suggested that he expand on his thoughts.  We were collaborating...from two separate parts of the country.

My intent for using Google docs was with my students, but it became a wonderful surprise for me Saturday afternoon as I used it to broaden my own digital literacy environment.  

Below is the student reflection from the book, Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.  Feel free to join in on the collaboration and feedback.

“I can’t do anything right.  I don’t want to be all that, I just want to be like everyone else”
Page 242

Melody Brooks is an eleven year old girl that is confined to a wheelchair.  She can’t walk, talk, or even feed herself.  Everyone thinks that Melody is either stupid, or in their own words, a mental retard.  She made a friend at school, she even has enemies (like most girls her age).  She has always been looked down on by the public eye, but her parents, her own personal aide at school, Catherine,  and Mrs. V won't let her give up.  One day the 5th and 6th grade were having tryouts for a quiz team. Even Mr. Dimmings didn’t believe in her.  But when she got a perfect score on the tryout, everyone seemed to praise her.  And when the public was only focused on her, she felt all alone.  The team even forgot about her on the flight to the championship, and didn’t do anything about it. I can connect to this because I’ve had days when I feel like I can't do anything right.  I’ve been called “special”  and not in the good way.  I’m not the smartest or most popular kid, but I just want to be like everyone else.  As Melody said “I can’t do anything right.  I don’t want to be all that, I just want to be like everyone else”.

*The line in bold is the line Julieanne commented on.


  1. Leigh Anne,
    So great that you can collaborate across the miles about student work. It would be interesting for students who chose the same line to share the variety of reasons that led them to choose that line. (like me, like a friend, I have felt that way, etc.)

    And I'm not sure that I'm always talking "digital" with these Sunday posts, but I appreciate Margaret's continued welcome!

  2. How great that you were able to collaborate on analyzing student writing! I don't think I would have thought to do that but using Google docs really makes that a possibility.
    I do not always post about digital stuff for DigiLit Sunday. I really think it's more about being present with where you are in your teaching. It's an open door policy.
    I see that the line you pointed out seems out of place to the line of thinking. How did she feel alone when attention was given to her? This writer did, however, have an understanding of the book and pinpointed the problem I had with it in that the team left her behind. I felt angry about that part. I wanted more comeuppance at the end.

  3. I loved being able to do this with you. What a world we live in. I can collaborate with you half way across the country with more ease and understanding than I can be with people in my own city. It strikes me what matters is that our connection has grown due to our beliefs.

  4. What a great way to connect. I love how google docs takes opportunities for collaboration to a new level. It's very exciting that we can learn from these experiences with others. Thanks for sharing your learning and connected-ness with the community.

  5. Google Docs is a great collaboration tool. It is indeed wonderful as everyone has said to be able to connect and have a conversation about student work. Good seeing you on Digilit Sunday, Leigh Anne.