Celebrate writing in your school district ๐ŸŽ‰

Dan KempDigital Storytelling, English / Language Arts, Languages, Literacy, Publishing

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March is Be An Author Month - a celebration of writing!
Turn your students into authors and see them develop literacy skills that will serve them in any subject.
What is Be An Author Month?

Writing across the curriculum (and beyond)

It's Be An Author month and we want to celebrate student writing with you! One of the most important things we try to communicate is that authoring a book isn't just something you do in English Language class.

If you head over to our Resources pages - you'll see examples of writing across Math, Science, Creative Arts, PE and more. Writing a book is a perfect way to research a topic, demonstrate your understanding, teach others, and reflect on learning.

Beyond that, we've even got examples of published libraries containing books on school transitions, environmental awareness, and social-emotional learning.

You could learn from other school districts, such as Cincinnati Public Schools' collaborative writing project, or how Ottawa Catholic School Board created over 400,000 books in 4 years with their students!

And given March isย Women's History Month - how about this library? โคต๏ธ


Publishing in the classroom (and beyond)

We've always been firm believers in the power of sharing work beyond the classroom. If your students are writing just for the teacher - they'll do a good job. But if they are writing for a wider audience, they'll go that extra mile to do their best job.

Hopefully, like the teachers above, you've been busy this month enabling your students to write across the curriculum. Now's the time to take that writing and publish it!

OK, it's time to get a little bit technical here.

Some teachers get a little bit concerned about the prospect of "publishing". Really what we're talking about is no more than taking a piece of digital work and sharing it. You probably do that with Google Drive all the time.

With Book Creator, publishing is easy, safe and you are in full control. Let's explore some of the ways you could share student work.

    Publish your book online

    The best way to share your Book Creator book is to publish it online. Publishing your book online will you give you a link to a read-only version of the book. You can turn the pages, play audio and video, and click on any hyperlinks.
    Learn more

    Embed your book on a website

    Once a book has been published, you'll get a read-only version that can be viewed online. You could try embedding that book on your own class blog or school website. We do it on the Book Creator blog all the time!
    Learn more

    Publish a whole library of books

    What's better than publishing one book? Publishing lots of books! This is where you could take a whole class library and share it online for parents to see their kids' work. You can embed that on your website too.
    Learn more
    Publish a library

    Access book analytics

    When you've published books you can start viewing how many people have read the book and in which places in the world! This is where the magic of publishing comes alive for students as they track who has seen their book.
    Learn more
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    Print your book

    Although Book Creator books are optimized for digital publishing, we've seen plenty of great examples of teachers exporting student work as a PDF file and printing hard copies of the books.
    Learn more

    Running a competition

    An obviously great way to celebrate student writing and ramp up engagement is to run a competition within your class, school or district.

    To make your competitions effective, we recommend including the following elements:

    1. Set a theme/format
    2. Give clear directions
    3. Judging
    4. Prizes!
    5. Celebrate and share

    You can read our full guidance on these elements in our competitions blog post.

    Case study: Prince George's County Public Schools

    Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) is a huge school district located a few minutes from Washington D.C in Maryland, USA. PGCPS has been running an annual โ€˜Write-A-Bookโ€™ competition for their students since 1977. As we launched our second annual Be An Author month, PGCPS is preparing for their 46th(!) annual year of the competition.

    During the pandemic - switching to Book Creator mean they could continue running their Write-A-Book competition even though students were learning remotely. This transformed what was a pencil-and-paper exercise into a multimedia, fully accessible experience that has greatly improved the creation and sharing of their competition books.

    Read the full story here

    Teachers love seeing what their students submitted for the Write-A-Book Program:

    "It's really cool to see the creativity that the kids have. For me, it's the ones that never speak up in class. But when they start writing or they start illustrating their book, it's likeย Who knew you had this within you?!"

    We hope you'll think about running your own competition in your district to see engagement in writing soar. And look out for an announcement coming soon about a new Book Creator competition for April! ๐Ÿ‘€


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