Writing for Publication Equals College Readiness at the Tips of our Fingers

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SWBAT use technology to polish and publish their narratives by typing their narratives in MLA format and uploading them to Edmodo.

Big Idea

Computer labs make it digital: students publish their cultural masterpieces to Edmodo.

Let's get started: Sign in to Log in--Using the Computer Lab

10 minutes

We have two labs at my school.  One with 30 computers and one with 25 computers.  I have 35 students, so I prefer the larger lab.  However, I never know what I am going to get.

My 35 eager publishers may be relegated to the small lab.  If  all computers are working, I can improvise and   put one kid on my lap top, one kid on the teacher computer, and I can farm out the rest to teachers who have student computers in their room.  Most students are computer literate however they do not always know how to use a computer to produce academic content.  By working with my students in a lab, I can help them develop their skills in using the computer to produce and share their writing (W 9-10.6).

This lab has special rules.  Each student has to sign on a magic paper that then allows them to sit at a specific computer and log in. While the students log in, I will take the remaining students int various classrooms to borrow computers.  I give the students who are in other teachers' room my cell phone number.  I tell the to text me if they have any questions.


I know why MLA format reigns supreme

75 minutes

Today's lesson focuses on independent work because they are at different points in the final stage of the writing process.  Students are finishing their personal narratives (W 9-10. 2). It is the formal writing component of the culture unit. This is the prompt they are working form: 

  • A well-written, revised and proofread essay in which you express your personal identity based on the five aspects you chose and how those aspects define your cultural context.  Your essay should have a clear claim, demonstrate strong organization, and use imagery that creates a verbal picture of you and your culture.

Once we are are logged on--I go through the directions of formatting their essay. The header, name, date, and spacing.  It is the basics of MLA format (L 9-10. 3a) .  I will not accept an essay that is not properly formatted. I remind students to use the Purdue OWL if they need a reference. I also tell them if they used a source other than themselves they must have a works cited page.  The easiest way to create a citation is using EasyBib.  It is a free website that practically does all the work for you. If it is a web site or a common book, easybib can auto cite it.  If not, students can plug in the necessary information and easybib with create the citation.

I spend the period walking around the lab answering questions and checking papers before students upload to Edmodo. 

Students are at various stages of writing.  Most of them are putting a final polish on their essay by checking the conventions and making minor alterations (W 9-10. 5).  The goal is to get the paper typed in MLA format and submitted by the end of the period. 

By the end of the period students need to type their essays and upload them to Edmodo. In order to submit, students log into the class homepage. Next they click on the turn in button.  This button takes them to a page that has an upload button.  They click the upload button, select their essay and hit submit (W.9-10.6).

Closing: Publication and Log Off

10 minutes

I give students a 10 minute warning. It starts the turn in and log off countdown.  If you have students working in other rooms, check on them quickly. I make sure everyone can log into edmodo to turn in their essay.  

At the end of the period, I remind them to log off and to read "Trees for Democracy" for the next class.