Along with promising and noticeable changes in student writing, there were many pleasant surprises. I noticed absent students working on writing from home. Parents read their child’s posts at home, and families had discussions to surface exciting ideas for a writing piece. Parents found reading a variety of student writing to be more informative in understanding their child as a writer.
I also began to notice a change in our analog, paper-and-pencil writer’s workshop. Students were more collaborative, often voluntarily meeting with a writing buddy in the designated student conference spot. New leaders began to appear, like Yuliana, brimming with a newfound self-confidence as a writer.
At one point, an unprompted collaborative set of Star Wars stories were published in more than ten episodes, each episode handing off authorship from one student to another, one episode picking up where the last left off.