Writing can be difficult for many of our students. This is especially true for students who are neurodivergent or with a disability of some kind. Writing is a source of pain and frustration for my sophomores because it is not easy for them and it stands in the way of their ability to graduate. In my state students must pass a standardized test that includes constructed response questions in order to receive their high school diploma. While I'm glad students have buy-in to become better writers - I wish the circumstances around how they feel about writing could change. I wanted to create a tool to help them become more confident in their writing and be able to see their growth over time.
What is it?
This is a Google form that guides students through constructed response questions using the RACE
model (restate, answer, cite, explain). The students will own or the teacher can create one form for all students to use (this is what I do). You will receive a Google slide with a link to force copy the Google form. The slide also includes step-by-step video instructions for both students and teachers. This slide will also include a link to a presentation over the RACE writing strategy.
Once students make a copy of their own Google form they go into preview mode and fill it out. There is a video that talks them through how to write constructed response questions using RACE. Students can use this for any constructed response question that they have for ANY class. It will automatically save their responses in a Google Sheet. This allows the form owner to see students’ writing progress over time. This sheet can also be shared with adults invested in the student's education. It is a live document so it is automatically updated when the student submits a new answer.
While I love the idea of all students having their own form, I found that my 10th graders aren’t YET organized to constantly find their own files. Plus, I work at a Microsoft School so not all students have a google drive. Because of this, I prefer students all answer in one place so I can see all of their answers, just make a form for yourself and have students refer to your link when needed. My students even have the form bookmarked as a tab.
What students say:
I am fortunate enough to teach an ungraded class at my digital learning school. That means that I have to
have student buy-in to even get them to come to my class. My job is to teach skills and share tools that remove learning barriers for my students who all have disabilities. They have told me over and over that this tool has made things much easier for them. I share one link for my students, and after one month of school, I have over 100 entries on my form. They are using it, ON THEIR OWN and it is working. My students who use this form have an average of 90% on their constructed response questions.
Here are some real quotes I gathered from students who gave feedback about this tool.
“This makes it easier for me to get good grades because I’m not worried about my CRQs.”
“I finally feel like I’m a good writer when I use this.”
“The videos on this form help me know what to write next.”
“I feel a lot better about my answers than I did last year.”
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