Writing Workshop Communication: Sharing Student Writing Outside Your Classroom

Writing

Publishing is a big part of writing workshop — whether students publish in Teen Ink or through a writing contest or simply by sitting in the “author’s chair” (something middle and high school students still love, surprisingly) and reading their favorite line.

But often the school community, administrators, and parents miss these big moments. They just aren’t there. And so while the student feels the thrill of publication, some of the most important people in their lives don’t get to share in it.

Today’s communication is embarrassingly simple: use Padlet. Padlet is a live, online bulletin board with free accounts! All you do is create the page for your students and they can post their writing!

What might they post?

  • The results of a try-it-yourself sentence study
  • Their favorite sentence or two from their writing time today (like an exit ticket!)
  • Their favorite line from a classmate’s writing
  • The thesis statement they are working to support
  • Their trial-run writing based on today’s mini-lesson

Here’s a sampling what my students did on Padlet a few weeks ago after a Notebook Timesentence study from The Girl on the Train: 

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How does this help me communicate again?

When you project your Padlet wall in your classroom as students write, students’ writing becomes instantly published for the class to see and celebrate.

(There are many options on Padlet that allow students to interact with one another’s writing, too! Students can like posts with hearts, vote them “up” with a thumbs up, or even comment if you allow them to!)

Communication is all about saying, “Here’s what is happening in our classroom on a daily basis.” Padlet can help you do that, too.

Padlet’s tools also make it fast and simple to share this writing with others who might not otherwise get to see it. Here are a few some ideas:

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  • Let all of your sections contribute to a single Padlet wall — that way 7A can see what 7B is writing, etc. You’ll be surprised at the buzz in the hallway when you share student writing from another class period.
  • Let one class period give feedback to another class period using the comment function.
  • Use the “export” menu to print a Padlet wall and hang it on your classroom door. Watch other students stop by to see what their peers have created. (Added bonus: your colleagues can see it, too!)
  • Use the “export” menu to save the Padlet wall as a PDF and email to parents with a short “Look what we did today!” note.
  • Share the saved Padlet with your administrator  or department chair: “Check out what we’re learning today!”

We need easy, quick ways to give snapshots of our classroom life and all the ways students are growing. What are some of your quick-and-easy tips for sharing the good news of your classroom with the broader school community, with colleagues, with administrators, and with families?

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