At school, we have a new program that allows teachers to monitor students as they work online. One cool feature allows us to simply shut down a student if he is not on the assigned site for the day. It is fun watching their reactions to being instantly blocked.
Another great feature allows me to go directly into the document that a student is creating and to join the student in the writing process. I can add feedback, and I can also help guide a student’s writing in real time.
“Joaquin” is one of my best writers. I’ve known that since he was a little kid in my fifth grade class. One of his stories that year was about having a superpower. The boy wrote about being able to capture all the terrorists in the world and then making them all work at McDonald’s. After a few days of working the fryer, they all surrender and promise to go home. Joaquin, the superhero, is celebrated as his neighbors throw a party with ponies and pinatas
Much to the boy’s dismay, I think I shared that story with every teacher at the school. At the start of this year, I asked him if I could read his story to the class.
He looked at me in disbelief. “No!” he squeaked. “You still have it?”...