Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Do you NaNoWriMo?

 This is the first year I am doing NaNoWriMo with my students as a whole-class assignment. In the past I have done it as extra credit, but I decided to throw caution to the wind, face uncertainty and see how my students fare when we do this as a class. We've only had two days of in-class writing so far, but from what I've seen these past two days, I am so impressed with my students. Each one of them is taking their writing goals seriously in their own way. Because they are all in different places and have different abilities, I am celebrating what each of them is accomplishing for themselves, not just based on what I expect of them. Which proves to me that no matter what the politicians say, the push for standardization is really harming kids' learning.

Despite the fact that I am giving all of my students the goal of 10,000 words for NaNoWriMo, I have emphasized to them that making the goal is not what I will be grading them on. Their attitude, willingness to work, and ability to focus on the task at hand is how I will be evaluating them. If they come to class willing to work every day, the rest will take care of itself. I am already seeing that in spades and we've only been writing for two days. Will all of them make their goal of 10,000 words? No, but I can guarantee that they will learn something about themselves as writers and they will continue to build stamina along the way. I can't wait to see the other ways my students will surprise me this month.

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  1. Good for all of you! I signed up one year and didn't get very far...but someday....

  2. I love this idea, Beth! And even more, I love throwing caution to the wind and diving right in. Most of my best teaching and learning happens when I do that!