Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day Ten (evening)

Didn't write at all this morning, which is the first time since I started NaNoWriMo this year that I haven't written something in the morning.

I was playing with a NEO2 from Renaissance Learning. I'm lucky enough to be a teacher who was loaned a set of NEOs for use in the classroom. They arrived last Friday at our school, and though my fellow fifth-grade teacher and I were tempted to each take a NEO home over the weekend to acquaint ourselves with them, we resisted. We, of course, wrote large chunks of our novels instead.

But yesterday, Monday, after our staff meeting, we opened up the boxes and got a look at the NEOs. I used one immediately, typing up some notes from our history text, which I then transferred to my computer and printed out. Couldn't have been easier. I was taken with it pretty much immediately.

Took that one home last night. Didn't end up using it that night, because I was writing my novel on my laptop. But this morning, I used the NEO again to type up some summaries of history chapters that students had already drafted. I really like the eight different files feature. I was able to put summaries of the same chapter together in the same file, which transferred to the same document on my computer. Some students were assigned to summarize the same chapter, so it was convenient to group them together in the same document, which the NEO handles as the same file.

I never had to worry about the work I typed being saved. When I was done with those summaries, I just opened a new file and began work on summaries for the next chapter.

Once at school, I introduced students who had committed to writing to their NEOs. To say that they were excited would be an understatement. They couldn't wait to start using them. I set aside some instructional time this morning, and several of them wrote with me at the big table in the back of my classroom. A handful stayed in during recess; they wanted to keep writing rather than go out and play. An almost equal number of students decided to stay in during lunch recess as well to write; they did eat lunch, but again, they did not go out and play.

Overall, a very satisfactory day. I'm enjoying using the NEO and so are my students. It was definitely a motivator for them to write.

Oh, yeah...I managed 1,980 words today, bringing my total up to 19,723.

"I do not boast about the quality of my work, but I may be permitted to pride myself on the gift of steady application." - Anthony Burgess

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