I am writing this post because I have been asked by a few people how I actually use the 100 Word Challenge within school. So I though I would share a few ideas to get you started. This week, over 1000 children have contributed to the weekly prompt for the first time. I wonder how long it is until over 2000 posts a week are submitted?
Where do the children write their posts?
In our school we have blogs: www.ridersblogs.co.uk and this is setup using WordPress Multisite. This means that each blog I create is a sub-blog from the main one. I have created a blog for the 100 Word Challenge: www.ridersblogs.co.uk/100wc and every class has a login. The children are aware of the login and password and because of restrictions I have put in place, the children write their posts but it won’t go live on the site until I check it. When the children are writing their post, they add their name into the tags so that we can search for all of the posts from a particular child quickly.
You could of course have any blog just for 100 Word Challenge, but WordPress Multisite lets me manage it easily. I don’t post them onto the class blogs as they would quickly get filled if 30 children were writing on there every week!
How do I use the prompts without a blog?
When I am first showing the 100 Word Challenge to people, I suggest that they use it within class as part of Literacy lessons or maybe morning tasks. To start with, I help the children witht he planning stages. Use the prompt and see what ideas they have. Will their writing be a letter or a story? What about something else? What characters or settings are there?
Last year, I wrote the prompt (or printed if it was a picture) and put it on the wall in the classroom. The children could then write about this during the week, maybe for 5minutes a day during registration or as one of the activities in a reading carousel. This gets them used to using the prompt and writing around 100 words. I often get the children to peer assess these as they can then look through them and build up their awareness of targets and the content of writing rather than just marking and saying “your writing is neat”.