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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Class Story Writing Using Type With Me

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training. Accordingly in this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. In this post we will share how the teacher or mentor teacher can place students/mentees in writing pairs who create their own class story by using the web tool, Type With Me.
Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has an interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers as well.
Note: Although this lesson plan idea is designed for the Judaic Studies classroom, it can be also be used for training pre-service and in-service Jewish educators for professional or staff development. For example, the Type With Me can be used to co-create a lesson plan, a unit, a professional development or staff development plan, or a curriculum project. It is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators.
Note: We will use the word teacher and student in this instructional activity. For purposes of staff development training replace the word (a) teacher with mentor teacher, staff developer, teacher trainer or college professor, (b) and student with mentee, client, pre-service or in-service teacher, undergraduate or graduate student.
Note: Type With Me can also be used for teachers to co-create a lesson plan, a unit, a professional development or staff development plan, or a curriculum project.
*Class Story Writing Using Type With Me
This activity involves the class writing a story together with everyone contributing in some way. In addition each student is given the opportunity to use the collaborative writing tool, Type With Me.
Step One: The teacher writes a title and a short introduction to a story from the Tanach onto an white interactive board, a classroom presenter or a computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector. “ For example, in a Judaic Studies classroom the teacher might type the following words: “Once upon a time in the land of Egypt a Jewish child was born and his name was Moses “. For a training session for mentees, the mentor teacher might write these words. “ One of the challenges we face in Jewish education is reaching students who are not highly motivated. With your learning partner, brainstorm a list of activities a teacher can implement to motivate students who come to class not particularly highly motivated to learn. ”
Note: The following steps apply to the Judaic Studies classroom only.
Step Two: At the beginning of the day, read the title and the introduction and explain that by the end of the day every child in class will write a portion of the story of Moses on his or her computer.
Step Three: Each student is given an opportunity to add to the story.
Step Four: At the end of the day, the teacher or an able student selected by the teacher writes the conclusion of the story.
Step Five: At the end of the day the teacher or selected students read the story which is then emailed to each child and his or her parents or guardians. The story can also be posted on the class's or school's website.
* This lesson idea is adapted from
On the next post we will introduce additional collaborative writing web tools that are similar to Type With Me.

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