take that, naysayers OR a NaNoWriMo success story

My Pre-IB sophomores have spent the last month writing novels as a part of National Novel Writing Month. The adult challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. As students, they were asked to set a goal of at least 18,000 words. As a reference, that's about 60 pages of text in double-spaced, 12 pt font.

I am incredibly proud of the following statistics. Of my 31 students,

  • 18 met or exceeded their word count goal.
  • 22 took a risk and set a goal that was over the minimum, even though they knew that this could affect their grade negatively.
  • 23 wrote more than 18,000 words.
  • The class average percent of the word count completed was 85%.

This is a huge, mind-boggling success. It is an incredibly tangible expression of my personal belief that my students--despite being heavily minority, taught by failing schools, and mostly on free and reduced lunch--are capable of anything, if only one asks it of them and believes that they can succeed.


  1. Did you read all of their submissions IN ADDITION to writing your own novel??

  2. No, I'm not suicidal. =p

    I've given them three days to edit a 1000-1500 word excerpt, and I'm grading that for writing quality. They're submitting the full manuscript to turnitin.com to make sure they didn't plagiarize or just repeat words over and over or something.


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