Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tech Tip Tuesday: Writing Journals in Google Docs

Happy Tech Tip Tuesday! This tip is fun, and centered around the use of Google Drive and Google Docs. One of the most important skills our students need to develop is the ability to compose a piece of writing on a computer. This is especially important for my ELLs, because not only is our state test (which includes writing) done on a computer, but so is their ACCESS English language proficiency test- including the writing portion. 

One great way to help students practice this important skill is with writing journals in Google Docs. Students get to practice their writing skills, while also practicing their computer and typing skills. So what does a writing journal look like when done in Google Docs? Check out this sample Water Cycle Writing Journal

Writing journals in Google Docs can be easy to grade, especially using extensions like Doctopus and Goobric. Journals are also easy to organize in Google Docs by using headings and links to create a table of contents, like I did in the sample journal.

Like all files in Google Drive, these writing journals can easily be shared via Doctopus, a link, email, or as assignments in Google Classroom. The videos below show you how!

If you try using Google Docs to create writing journals for students, I'd love to hear how it goes! If you're already using Google Docs this way, comment below and tell us how it's going!

Why this is great for ELLs:
For my ELLs, the domain most frequently preventing them from exiting ESOL services is writing. They need lots of opportunities to write, and developing their computer skills is also a priority. Using Google Docs as a writing journal is an excellent way to kill two birds with one stone.


  1. Just stumbled upon your blog and LOVE your ideas as a fellow ESOL specialist! We use OneDrive (Microsoft Outlook's version of GoogleDocs) to do the same thing in my classroom. Thanks for the detailed plans and sharing!

    The Cozy Learning Cottage