He had been working on a project for weeks in my classroom. It was time to get back into our usual Social Studies routine. I knew that the shift and transition back to this routine would take a couple of days for my student to re-adjust to the expectations of participating in class, listening to group instructions and taking notes on the topic were learning about.
He was taking the break he earned from the class before mine and I knew he would be a little late getting to my class. He usually took notes using Microsoft word. It worked ok for him but he still needed a lot of adult prompting and additional interventions to type his notes from the board and stay on task. All of my older students used Google Drive docs to take all their notes on.
Do you think he could?
What if I???
Quickly I created a doc, titled it and shared it with him. I told the teaching assistant working with him that he needed to log into his google account. We were going to try something new.
Class started, we determined what the first portion of the notes would be and I wrote it on the board. I watched as the student was still logging in. I typed the notes from the board on to the doc we shared and wondered if coming into class caught up and not behind would be a feeling that would help improve his participation.
He found the shared doc and jumped right in ready for the next fact. The class discussed the topic and I wrote the next fact on the board and my students typed it in their notes.
He hesitated to type the fact and from across the room I could hear him talking to himself, struggling to get started. I typed the first three letters of the fact on the shared doc. He deleted it. I typed it again, hoping to get him going. He deleted it. I typed it one last time and jokingly said, “Joe, I wonder how those words are getting on your sheet? Are you going to finish them?”
He began to type a few words from the board onto the shared doc. I typed the next word. He typed a few more. I typed another word, he finished the fact.
“Alright, what do we think the next what fact is about Los Angeles?” I asked the class as I watched out of the corner of my eye as he leaned over to the teaching assistant sitting near by smiled, looked confused, stared the teaching assistant eyes, take a deep breath and whisper…”It’s like magic!”
Class went on. After he typed each fact from the board onto the shared doc I made comments on his work: good job!, wow that was so fast!, great note taking on my laptop from across the room. As the period went on his typing got faster and faster and the comments got more and more positive and he needed less and less teaching assistant support and prompting.
Class ended. I went up to him and shared with him my feelings about how he did. We giggled and soaked up the great period it was for him.
…and all it took was a little magic!