Today we totaled the students' word counts. The seniors, a class of eleven students, proudly boasted 90,440 words. The juniors with a smaller class--eight boys and one girl--finished with 103,000 words!
Fifteen of the students wrote at least 9000 words, and one student excelled with 20,280 words.
Overall, this was a great month. Comments heard around school this month included:
"I never thought I could write this much."
"After writing a 10,000 word novel, it will be tough to limit myself to a two page essay."
"Now I am going to have to finish writing my story."
Students accomplished something they never dreamed possible. Even the students who did not reach their goal wrote more than they ever dared before. The writing is not perfect, and is certainly not ready for publication, but students put words on paper. Their fluency improved, their confidence grew and for a few short weeks they knew what it is to be a writer.
The question has been posed, "Do we have to do it again next year?" accompanied by the requisite moans.
However, my resounding "Yes!" was followed by a fiery discussion of the possible stories each student could use next year.
Perhaps the suffering was worth it.
Senior Total 99,057
Total Word Count for November: 202,057