Interactive Digital Writing

Have you ever been sitting in your classroom and had an idea hit you? An idea so random and out of the blue, but yet so obvious you wonder why you hadn’t thought of it before?

Well, it happened to me, and I am so excited about it I want to share it with you. The timing is perfect, the Classroom Slice of Life is coming up in THREE days, No Fooling and this an idea you can use in your classroom tomorrow and all through the Classroom SOLSC!

If your class is slicing in the classroom writing challenge, click over here and add your link to the Padlet, the time is NOW!


So, what is this exciting random idea?

Interactive Digital Writing!  

Are you wondering exactly what I mean by interactive digital writing?

Let’s start by refreshing our understanding of interactive writing.

“Interactive writing is an instructional time when the teacher and the children share a pen while working together to compose and construct a text based on a common experience. Interactive writing provides support for negotiating the text as well as learning about the letters and words and how they work during the text construction. The focus of the part of the literacy framework is explicit teaching, promoting and reinforcing the complex writing process based on the needs of the students.”  (Responsive Literacy, A Comprehensive Framework, by, the educators of The Literacy Collaborative, The Ohio State University)

As we work with our students to write a digital message, like traditional interactive writing, we will allow students to choose the words, phrases, and decide the organization of the layout. But what digital interactive writing adds to our student’s choices is the opportunity to learn how to effectively use the keyboard and the features available to them through a digital device.

As we work interactively with our students to compose a digital message, we share the keyboard. This time is instructional, authentic and explicit. The message composed and how it is composed comes from the students and holds value to the community of writers. The students who are invited to hold the device to capitalize letters, add punctuation marks, switch between numbers and letters, delete text, to move the cursor to a specific location, to use predictive spelling effectively, to copy and paste, or how to use speak selection as an editing tool are all chosen with intention. Digital devices offer writers many features we as adults use without thought, but these are features our students need us to explicitly teach them.

Interactive digital writing also offers us the opportunity to talk about digital safety as we compose our message. What we write in a blog post or in a public space is written with the intention of sharing with a broad audience. Students need to understand what is safe to share with people we don’t know and why we might actually want to share with a broader audience. Why we share with people we don’t know is often given far less attention than what we share. I like to explain to the students I work with that just as books allow us to see lives that are different and similar to ours our writing will enable us to share with others who may be same or different than we are.

During interactive digital writing, we have the opportunity to help students understanding their writing teaches others. Through writing, they can open windows to diversity and new perspectives for others. With this, students should be taught about the responsibilities they have to be positive in sharing with a global audience and the effect and longevity of a message shared digitally.

Once the decision of the message has been decided, we are ready to type the text, and this is where we witness the art of teaching.

“Construction involves the explicit teaching of letters, words, and how print works depending on the needs of the class. This part of the lesson is the most challenging; the teacher has to meet the word solving needs of her writers while maintaining the engagement of the rest of the class. During this part of the lesson, the teacher is making rapid, careful decisions about what letters, letter clusters, and words she will write and what letters, letter clusters, and words the children will write. When the teacher knows her students well, watching text construction is like watching a maestro conduct a symphony.” (Responsive Literacy, A Comprehensive Framework, by, the educators of The Literacy Collaborative, The Ohio State University)



Access the google doc mentioned in the info graphic by clicking on the graphic. It is linked to Google Sheets where you can make a copy of the google sheet to use with your class.

Resources For Digital Citizenship

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Netiquette – How to be safe online


Digital Etiquette 
by Brian Pop