Target 1 – Student-Centered Learning. FWSU students will engage in personalize learning involving collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creative learning opportunities.

Action Step – Highlight, create and model innovative learning opportunities that promote collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creativity for students and staff.

Indicator of Success – Students and staff will create personalized learning networks to communicate and collaborate with others.

Recently, 17 GEMS’ 7th-8th graders undertook the daunting task of writing a novel in just one month. Students were required to write 30,000 words to be National Novel Writing Month winners. They spent September and October planning and practicing, and on November 1st they jumped into novel writing for hours at school and at home to make word count goals. They joined other young authors worldwide on the YWP NaNoWriMo website for pep talks and chats. At the end of November, 8 students and 3 teachers had made word count and everyone in the group had grown as writers. The novels ranged across genres and showed a great deal of the authors’ personalities. All authors were excited to share their successes at the “It’s Over! Celebration.” Here is what they had to say.


What did you like best about doing NaNoWriMo this year?

“We got the chance to attempt to write a book which is pretty cool since we are only in seventh and eighth grade.” Meredith

“It challenged me and pushed me past what I thought I could accomplish – it was also challenge by choice.” Gabe

“I was able to decide what I wanted to write and create something out of my idea that would maybe even bring excitement and interest to someone else’s face.” Aubrey


What was challenging about doing NaNoWriMo?

“It was challenging that we had to write 1,000 words a day to stay on goal.” Nicolas

“It was challenging because I couldn’t show up not wanting to write.  I couldn’t afford that.” Gabe

“The most challenging part was probably not writing the 30,000+ words but knowing what to write. My plot line changed a lot throughout the novel. The 30,000 words was definitely not easy, but you just have to plan out your time and figure out when you have available time to write because every word counts!!!”  Aubrey


How has NaNoWriMo changed you as a writer?

“It has shown me that I really love writing and that I want to take this as a job and write books for a living.”  Morgan D

“It has made it easier for me to write longer sections of writing, and made me more capable to stay focused.”

“You get to test yourself of how good of a writer you are. That was fun.” Collin


Do you think you will do NaNoWriMo in the future? Why or why not?

“Yes! I loved it this year, and next year I’m going to go for 50,000. I’ll raise my goal every year.”

“Yes, I want to make a sequel to my book, and I hope that they both get published.”  Alex

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