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Thursday, July 21, 2016

NaNoWriMo rocks my world!

As much as I did a good job posting last spring, I've done a terrible job posting this summer.

Mostly, I've just been lying around doing nothing.

In and of itself, that is a very good thing.

So my apologies to my readership...but I am back now...sort of...

My new goal: three posts a week. That's manageable right? Even without a student teacher?


As July has started winding down, I've started thinking about the coming year.

Not gonna lie, it has been a challenge to find my motivation mojo.

Then I got together with a friend/colleague.

We met in my classroom. A space I hadn't visited since the first week of June.

The purpose of our visit was to discuss ways to better align ELA 9 & 10.

It was fun.

That is when I finally felt that spark.

You know the feeling: I like teaching, I'm looking forward to the new year, this whole teaching thing is fun.

I know the exact moment I reignited too.

It was when I realized that this year I might actually do NaNoWriMo with my students in class.

For those who aren't familiar, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.

This programs rocks my world.

Anyone can participate.

Just go to the website and sign up.

It works like this: spend as long as you want preparing and then write a novel.

The catch: you must write the whole thing in November.

Standard goal length is 50,000 words.


Personally, I am not a fiction writer.

But our focus in 9th grade is narrative.

And we are going 1:1 this year.

And NaNoWriMo provides an on-line, self-paced opportunity for students to write for real for a real audience.

And lets students earn badges.

And tracks progress on the actual novel.

And the program provides a TON of resources to help prepare for the actual writing.

Which incidentally, covers pretty much all the literary elements and writing skills in our curriculum.

I've thought about NaNoWriMo before,but there was always some obstacle I perceived as insurmountable: time, curriculum, computer access etc.

Honestly, those were excuses...and I've run out of them.

The only obstacle left is my willingness to try it.

And I want to...

Even though it scares the bejeezus out of me.

Even though it might not work.

Even though I feel obligated to write with my students (and I really don't like to write fiction).      

I think this might be what they call innovation, or at least experimentation.

Jumping out of my comfort zone to provide an authentic context for the learning my students will do.

Pushing myself to take risks.

Using technology in tranformative ways to do things that just weren't quite possible before.

It gonna be an adventure...which I think is a good thing, even through the inevitable bumps and bruises...



  1. I did this with a class once & it was soooo much fun!!! I failed to reach the 50k mark myself, but 2 of my students did, so I still felt successful. :) Good luck to you all!

    1. I kind of think we should get a few people together and do a club in addition to classes for interested kiddos. What do you think?


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