How to Help a Struggling Writer Want to Write | Science in the City

Feb 23, 2013

How to Help a Struggling Writer Want to Write

My son is in first grade.  I want him to work on his writing, which he hates.  He hates both the mechanics of writing (putting pencil to paper), spelling, etc.  We went to a local museum and he saw an ad for a kids writing contest, grades K-3.  He decided he was going to enter, and win.  Kind of a funny choice for someone who hates writing, but he was set on it.  He came home to start, and very very quickly got frustrated when he made mistakes, had to erase, the paper got messy, etc.

I had a small brainstorm.  Maybe he could type it on the computer, edit his mistakes, and not get so frustrated.  It would also take away the whole problem of writing (ok, so he doesn't get practice on that, but at least he's practicing spelling and making sentences).

I started him on googledocs.  I chose that because it automatically saves, saves edits (so things can be undone) and can be accessed from any computer.

He loves it!  After a few days, however, he realized that he had an email account associated with his google docs account.  Uh oh.  Ok, so gmail does not have parental controls, I've looked.  I've monitored closely.  He has been emailing me, my husband, my parents, his other grandparents.  He can't wait to check his email and write back.  He has used google docs to share the story with them, and keep adding to it. that authentic practice?!!  How to make middle school level as authentic as that?  It seems to me, that for reading and writing are easier to find authentic practice.  Now I need to think about how to do that in my class.

And....has anyone ever used google docs, or a better kid-friendly website or application for kids?


  1. I love Google Docs! My students use it! Have you checked out EdModo? I've heard great things about it, but have never used it myself!!

    I saw you blog on one of the TpT forum threads! I'm your newest follower.


  2. Hi Brittany. Thanks for being a new follower :). What type of things do you use it for with your students? I am a little familiar with edmodo. I'm not using it now. 3 years ago I used schoology (similar to edmodo), but the school I'm at now has very limited technology so I haven't done it this year.

  3. Our Lil Man is just like yours! He just finished 1st grade and HATES writing! We actually just let him start a blog and he's one post in so far. He's really excited though! I think it's a great idea! Can't wait to let Lil Man use Google Docs! Plus, our district has actually set up Gmail accounts and Google Docs accounts for the students! The teachers have been using Gmail for about 2.5 years now. The older, 6-12, are the only students who have been able to access the Google accounts as of right now, but they are working on setting them up for some younger grades (working backwards from 5th).



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