NaNoWriMo

Once the process brought us to a point where we had a location and an event, we started taking ideas and writing them on the board. We first discussed what characters would be necessary, and people volunteered for different central characters. This was a surprising discussion for me in several ways. I expected all of the high-performing students to take the central roles, but they were actually...
The amount of learning that came about through giving the students control completely surprised me. I expected the engagement to be fairly high, but the format of the project truly allowed students at all levels to perform, to develop their voice, and to exceed my expectations. The project was student driven, and many of the techniques we used were uncovered just through collaboration, discussion...
I had been reading one of David Levithan's books, The Realm of Possibility, and it seemed like a pretty neat way to have each student create a story that was connected and yet written in different voices. In the book, there is one school, and twenty voices. Each chapter is in a different voice, and you don't really see all of the connections between the characters till you are a few chapters in....
What does it mean to be connected? An interesting question for educators to think about. Another one might be, "How can we show students the power behind community and connected learning?" One way might be to allow students to create a book together that celebrates the connections between people, one that displays beauty, subtlety, and thematic continuity through these connections. If being...
This is cross-posted from my blog. Let's just get this out of the way: I'm lucky. I'm lucky because I got to attend Mozilla's annual gathering known as Mozfest last weekend at the beautiful Ravensbourne Institute of digital media and design in London. Yes, that's right. London. But much more than the incredible location, Mozfest provided me and my colleagues from the National Writing Project (...
All my writing is digital: my prewriting for thinking and drafting and revising. Very rarely do I use pen and paper anymore. I am currently revising my NaNoWriMo novel. Still. In Google Docs. I write about the process at my blog for writing teachers, Wordsmith Agora. This seems a good time to review those thoughts: I love to write. I love to see the words appear on the page, paving an image or...