Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"I CAN SEE THEM TYPING!" Collaboration Through Google Drive!

I wish I could bottle the excitement and pure joy that was had in my classroom this afternoon. Honestly, at one point I was standing in the middle of the room watching as my students' eyes widened with excitement and wonder as their new pen pals typed a story along with them. 

Now, let me back up! Yesterday, I shared how a friend and I had our students "meet" one another through a Mystery Missouri Skype. Read more on that experience here. 

At the conclusion of our Mystery Skype last week, we (the teachers) informed our classes we would be collaborating on a little writing project through Google Drive. The anticipation set in and we had to wait a few more days until our schedules would allow us to log on at the same time. 

Miss Kazanowski did a little leg work going into the project: chatting about partnerships, logistics of how it work, topics to write about, etc. This morning, Miss K sent me a list of her student's individual Google Drive accounts. Right after lunch, students logged onto our classroom Google account (we only have one for the whole class) and I taught the entire group how to share a document with a new user on Google Drive. Next, students were sharing blank documents and quickly adding snapshots of their cute little smiles to give their new digital pen pal a visual of who they were chatting with. 

While my class was waiting for Miss K's class to return from recess and log on, we were teaching eachother - wait... let me rephrase that sentence, my students were teaching one another tricks with Google Drive and from there the ball was rolling! Students were typing bios about themselves and sharing information for their buddies to get to know them a little better. I even learned the phrase, "my selfie game is strong on IG" - this apparently means you take good selfies. Good thing I have my 5th graders to keep me hip. ;)


the moment happened. 

The first 5th grader -in another city - in another school district - logged on and started typing. A student shouted, "THEY ARE ONLINE!" Then another student shrieks, "THEY POSTED A PICTURE!" As more students shouted updates around the room, other students were dashing to their computer screens to check out the live update. Within minutes, everyone was chatting live with their new pal. I even threw out a few live tweets myself. I was inspired by Miss K's live tweeter during our Missouri Skype. 

With the help from Miss K, managing students in her classroom, and myself bopping around to computers in my own classroom, we were able to get students writing in a no time. Honestly, they were so excited to get started I didn't have to remind them twice! Overall, we had students writing wacky stories line by line, limericks, haikus, and even a story about tacos.  

I'm certain the number one question I will be asked in the morning is, "When can write with Miss K's class again?" 


  1. Hi Jordon. I have come across your blog via a teaching ideas facebook page I signed up to. You have some wonderful ideas for writing prompts. But I got very excited when I saw your surname. You see, I am a teacher in South Australia, and my name is Jane Furnell!

    1. Oh my goodness! How wonderful to meet a fellow Furnell!!!


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