Sway is the Way — Create Memorable Reading Portfolios

Published On: April 6th, 2016·By ·

How Wissahickon Middle School Uses Sway…

SwayAt Wissahickon Middle School, we have been using Sway in a variety of ways for demonstrations of learning, teacher presentations, communication, collaboration, and project-based learning. Another great way that our teachers and students are using Sway is through reading portfolios. Read on to find out how Language Arts teacher Chad Towarnicki and his students have used Sway to not only keep track of the books they have read, but to use stunning graphics, videos, and text to highlight their “big reads.”

During the third marking period, our eighth grade students conduct a large scale Reading Workshop/Genre Study. This year, with Office 365 available to each student, we were able to use Sway as a singular portfolio housing for the variety of assignments that the students produce over a period of ten weeks. From the standpoint of the educator, students were able to generate several formal written assessments of varying length, multi-media formatted creative projects, and a formal log of book reviews all in one spot. From the student perspective, it was a single large-scale project where they could infuse whatever theme format they chose, creatively displaying their work while flexing their tech-savvy muscles.

The beauty of Sway was that formatting options work in sets of three, so students have enough wiggle room to manipulate the visuals when loading in different assignments, but there aren’t so many options that they get overwhelmed. In the end, the students remained invested in the reading workshop for the long-term, due in part to the visually appealing one-stop-presentation of Sway.

Check out this Sway to view seven student examples from this project. Very cool!

To learn more about how we are using Sway, Office 365, OneNote, and other other innovative technologies in my school district, be sure to follow me on the Microsoft Educator Community, Twitter, Facebook, or my blog – Dianne's Digital Discoveries.


Meet Dianne Krause, MIE Expert and MIE Master Trainer. Dianne is a certified Instructional Technology Specialist working as an embedded Technology Coach for the Wissahickon School District in Ambler, Pennsylvania in support of her district's 21st Century Teaching & Learning Laptop Initiative. She works with teachers, administrators, students, and parents to ensure that the technology available is used efficiently, effectively, and in coordination with progressive and innovative lesson design and instructional practices. Dianne has presented conference sessions and workshops at ISTE and at local and online conferences, districts, and organizations. You can check out more about Dianne at her professional wiki and her blog or follow her @diannekrause on Twitter.

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