This post is all based on awesome idea #99 by my fab co-teacher @YYteach. The problem we were facing was that we had great mini-lessons and charts, but the students struggled to apply the teaching points independently. With our personal narratives unit in particular, we noticed that while conferring we would often encourage students to get up and go look at the chart of leads, juicy words, etc. We also realized that we soon ran out of chart real estate so we had to negotiate which charts could go and which could stay.
All these problems were solved with the digital writing toolkit! Here is a sample (in pdf form) that we used for our Personal Narratives Unit. Really it is just a Book Creator book that we made a master copy of to include all the charts and other resources that we want our students to be able to access quickly and easily. Then we used AirDrop to push the ebook out to all the students. During writing workshop students keep their iPad handy on their desk and open up their digital toolkit to the resource they need when they need it.
Students love being able to flip to the resource they need and as teachers we have seen the fruits of this independence evidenced in their writing. In fact, students are now asking that we add resources to their eBook and want the “new and updated” version to be sent to them. We have been inspired and our goal this year is to create digital toolkits for all our writing units. We will update this post later in the year to share our progress and the complete list of eBooks we created.