I met a batch of fourth and fifth graders today who spent November writing novels. Novels. Their teachers enlisted them in this program NanoWrimo, wherein you write 30 minutes a day on a novel.
It was so cool to see how excited these kids were (one kid had even started on his second) about writing and learning. The school district I'm covering in Portland has way more money than any I've seen in Mississippi, which definitely helps, but I was wondering, too, if a project like that could really work even in a district that doesn't have much money.
The teachers were using the novels to teach various forms of writing, and at the end of the month, all the kids' writing test scores had gone up.
I couldn't quit smiling leaving (and I'm not even the most kid-loving gal out there), seeing these 10 and 11 year olds so pumped up about writing.