Quill.org Launches Quill Lessons to Support Group Writing Instruction
We are excited to announce the release of our new tool for collaborative learning, Quill Lessons!
For years, teachers have been asking us for lessons they can use to teach new concepts. Quill now provides over 300 independent practice activities, but we did not have a tool that teachers could use to lead classroom discussions. Today we are launching Quill Lessons to engage students in discussions! With Quill Lessons, all of the students are connected together with the teacher in a shared session, and teachers will be able to lead whole-class or small group lessons.
Each Quill Lesson has then has a follow up activity so that students can practice and reinforce what they have just learned. Quill Lessons enables teachers to model responses, share selected student responses with the class, facilitate conversations, and flag students for extra support.
“The kids LOVED seeing their responses come up live as we went through the lesson. Eighth grade students were literally begging me to project their answers, or asking me to allow them to re-submit an answer because they’d just gotten a better idea from another student’s example. An excited class learning grammar from each other, now that’s a good day in ELA class!”
Kim Hinderlie, Elma Elementary School
Over the last year, the Quill team has received feedback on the lessons mode from dozens of teachers across the country, and we would like to thank all of these teachers for their feedback and support. We’d like to call out Kim Hinderlie and Britney Wilson, two teachers who beta tested Quill Lessons and provided us with extensive feedback. Ms. Hinderlie and Ms. Wilson shared with us their best practices for implementing Quill Lessons, and you can read their stories below.
Try Quill Lessons Now
Quill now provides 27 lessons, and we will be launching hundreds of new lessons over the coming year. While you cannot yet make your own lesson, we will also enable teachers to create their own writing lessons in the future. Here are some of the preferred lessons below and you can view and assign all our Quill Lessons under our Featured Activity Packs.
Conjunctions of Time (After, Before, Until, etc.) — Preview Lesson
Sentence Fragments (Advanced) — Preview Lesson
Appositive Phrases — Preview Lesson
Quill Lessons Features
Each slide is accompanied by a step-by-step guide that offers optional talking points and discussion prompts. Lesson plans can be downloaded and printed for easy use while presenting to students.
Teachers control interactive slides and can model for students live. Customize prompts to make them relevant and engaging for students.
Student Open Response
Each lesson offers opportunities for students to respond to open-ended questions with their own writing. Teachers can share students’ answers with the group anonymously to initiate discussions.
As teachers receive student responses, they can privately flag responses of students who require additional support. At the end of the Lesson, teachers can see all flagged students and pull them aside to provide clarification, additional practice opportunities, and further feedback on their answers.
Over the past month of beta testing, we’ve seen teachers in action, and gathered their stories of making Quill Lessons work for them and their students. Here’s how we gathered these ideas and best practices.
“Eighth grade students were literally begging me to project their answers, or asking me to allow them to re-submit an answer because they’d just gotten a better idea from another student’s example. An excited class learning grammar from each other, now that’s a good day in ELA class! One other huge bonus is that in my lessons throughout the week, I was able to refer to the Quill lesson when kids were giving me fragmented answers on written homework in my regular unit. They caught on so much faster thanks to the experience gained from just one lesson. I can’t wait till Friday to do it again.”
Kim Hinderlie, Elma Elementary School
“The kids are really enjoying the new lessons! As far as prepping for lessons, I start with the diagnostic first thing. I am anxious to see where the kids start at the beginning of the year and where the finish by the end of the year. We started with the most basic lessons, and are working our way up. One thing that the students love is when we put the wrong answers up on the board. They see that they aren’t the only ones who struggle, and it helps them build more confidence. We share a few laughs and then go on to find the correct answer.Once lessons are complete, we either move on or practice individually. If the students did really well and seem to understand the topic, we’ll go on. However, if they struggled with the information, we’ll spend an extra day working on the material.”
Britney Wilson, Morgan Co. R I Middle
As a nonprofit and open source organization, Quill has worked with hundreds of volunteer educators and developers in order to build the next generation of educational tools. We truly appreciate everyone’s feedback, and we invite you to reach out to us at any time with your ideas and suggestions. If we can not address it now, we will add it to our road map to address in the future. You can reach out to us any time at hello (at) quill (dot) org.