NaNoWriMo Status Update and Class Update!

We are officially halfway through November and I am more than halfway to my wordcount goal of 50,000….it’s all downhill from here so it should be easier.  🙂  I am thrilled because I have never reached 25,000 words before so this is huge!  Also, Scrivener is awesome and I totally give that program credit for a lot of my writing this November.  It’s made it so much easier to keep track of my plot, characters, and chapters.  I have also been using Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die almost every day and it has really kept me motivated.

On Thursday I met with a few of my NaNoWriMo students and was absolutely flabberghasted  by their progress.  Because we have less time together this year, I have been very hands-off in terms of NaNoWriMo.  They set their own wordcount goals, are working at home, and determined how much time they would devote to this optional project.  Forty six students signed up on October 30 and about half of them are still writing!  The ten that I met with on Thursday are doing an amazing job.  One already had ten chapters written, one already reached their 3000 word goal, and the rest are diligently working.  At one point, I turned around to find two writers comparing Wordles of their stories so far!  I was just thrilled.  We ended up printing out their Wordles and posting them on the wall next to our NaNoWriMo poster.

I plan to meet with a few more students this week and I can not wait to see what they have accomplished.  I highly encourage middle school teachers to use NaNoWriMo in the classroom because I am just thrilled with the results.  And we are only halfway through the month!


Today we started our novels in class!

We began by really pumping up the idea of writing an entire novel. The kids have been dying to write fiction, so I have been building up the idea of writing a novel. I handed out their YWP NaNoWriMo workbooks, printed off the NaNoWriMo website. I combined the elementary and middle school workbooks, making one perfect 6th grade book. Today we did our contracts (the kids LOVED them), magna cartas, and worked on first lines. When I finally handed out their official novel notebooks, the kids were completely ecstatic! They got to work “write” away. By the time we went to lunch, the kids were bragging to all their friends that they were writing novels.

I walked around while they were writing. Nothing they were writing would even be classified as half-way decent, but that’s the point of NaNoWriMo. Quantity over quality. They know I am collecting their completed workbooks for a grade and they in December they will be choosing 2-4 pgs of their novel to revise, edit, and hand in for a grade. Hopefully, we will find some gems in their 10,000 words! (10,000 words was the individual goal we decided on as a class).

We’re off to the races! I will be sure to keep you updated on our progress. We should be good next week- it’s week #2 that will be hard!

In other news, I haven’t started my own NaNoWriMo. I’ve got a terrible case of writer’s block. Blah!!

Miley Cyrus?

I am slowly morphing into a 6th grader……I have been listening to Miley Cyrus’ latest single on repeat for almost 30 minutes. This is what happens when you are around 12 year olds all day! (For those wondering, the song is “See You Again”).

Tomorrow we start NaNoWriMo in class. I have run off 38 copies of the Young Writer’s Workbook (much to the chagrin of everyone else waiting for the copier this afternoon!), picked up 38 composition books, and teased my kids with the promise of an awesome project for November. I think we will be aiming to 10,000 words written by the end of November. Or we will make it our goal to fill out the composition books we start. I also plan to write alongside the kids, because I know how hard NaNoWriMo is and I want them to see that I will also struggle, but that I will battle through and reach the goal! (Notice the positive thinking here….hehe).

Tomorrow we will begin by signing our “contracts”, beginning our workbooks, and doing our first writing. We’re off to the races!!


I’ve been working on my writing curriculum for the year. Our state testing has been moved from March to May, so I am not as rushed as I was in the past. Because of this, I don’t have to teach persuasive writing now, like I normally would. I can push that off until later in the year. I’ve been fooling around with different ideas and I think I know what I am going to do: NaNoWriMo.

It turns out that the awesome people over at NaNoWriMo have a separate site dedicated to young writers. They even have a curriculum, with sample lessons! I usually hesitate when it comes to teaching fiction because I am uncomfortable with it and my students usually have a very tough time with it. However, writing fiction in conjunction with NaNoWriMo seems like it will be a lot of fun!

Wish me luck!