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Snap1A: We Published Books on (and So Can You!)

Location: W185d, Table 1

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Snapshot

Wednesday, June 27, 12:00–1:00 pm
Location: W185d, Table 1

Claudia Felske   Jay Rehak  
Your students can become published authors whose books are available on! Learn how to publish student books at no cost to you. Discover how two teachers published collaborative novels with their students and how their process can be replicated by any grade level and any content area.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Storytelling/multimedia
Grade level: 9-12
Subject area: Language arts, Social studies
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
Global Collaborator
  • Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

This session aims to expand educators’ vision of what is possible in their classrooms by introducing them to the process of writing and publishing collaborative books with their students. The process itself, recently possible by leveraging several tech-enhanced learning tools (Google Docs, Google Sheets, Create Space), engenders deep levels of collaboration, creativity, and creation; the authentic integration of all language arts strands; and a deeply gratifying experience for the published student authors. Rehak and Felske, session facilitators, have published 13 collaborative books with their classes.


- Presenter and topic introduction.
- Brief discussion of 21st century literacies.
- Overview of the process of making class-sourced books.
- How to frame a class-sourced book.
- Collaborative roles for students.
- Connectedness: choosing content/theme relatable to all students.
- Student ownership of the process.
- Process over product: strive for a rich learning experience, not for perfection.
- The tech behind the books (using Google Docs, Sheets and Create Space).
- Additional literacies: book promotion, book reading event, community book club.
- The authors speak: student testimonials about the process.
- The possibilities are endless: replicating this process across the curriculum.
- Questions.
- Resources.

Supporting research

Fletcher, Ralph J., and JoAnn Portalupi. Writing workshop: The Essential Guide. Portsmouth, NH, Heinemann, 2001.

Kelley, Brian, and Luke Rodesiler. “Toward a Readership of “Real” People: A Case for Authentic Writing Opportunities.” English Journal , vol. 106.6, 24 July 2017, pp. 22–28.

Murray, Donald Morison. The Craft of Revision. Boston, MA, Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2013.

Peterson, Art. “Students Write Novels—in 30 Days.” National Writing Project, 12 May 2011,

Rehak, Jay C. How to Write a Class-Sourced Novel. CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2016.

Valdata, Patricia. “Creativity in Its Most Pure Form.” Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, 2007.

More [+]


Claudia Felske, East Troy Community Schools
Jay Rehak, Chicago Public Schools

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