Erica Marino is on a mission. She is determined to help her kids develop an unparalleled love of writing. Looking for different solutions to a problem that plagues many educators, Erica stumbled across BoomWriter and took a leap of faith on the platform. The results now speak for themselves.
With many of her students unmotivated by the prospect of writing, Erica's approach to BoomWriter was to employ the StoryWriter tool to give her students a tangible way of engaging in writing instruction. StoryWriter lets students collaboratively create an original story with their class that can eventually become published as a real paperback book. Erica's students picked a Story Start provided by BoomWriter and the class took turns writing and voting on the chapters to follow.
"I have noticed that while all my students love it, I am getting more info from my lower students," shares Erica. "So many times in the classroom we have to prepare them for a certain type of test or writing and there is not enough creative writing happening in the classroom. Students that can barely write a paragraph responding to an informational text are able to write multiple paragraphs when they are able to be creative."
Read on to learn more about how Erica is making the most of BoomWriter by using it to support student success.
An Interview with Erica
What kind of challenges were you facing before you started using BoomWriter?
Writing is a HUGE challenge for my kids. Whether it is coming up with an idea or even just the conventions of writing.
How and why did you decide to use BoomWriter?
One of my teacher friends forwarded an email to me about BoomWriter. I went on the site and looked at it and anything that connects with Google Classroom automatically has my attention. Then the hurricane happened. One month later, we came back and I needed something for my kids to do. I decided to try this for myself and my class since I would be helping other teachers with this. And the rest is history!
How easy or hard was it to get started with this BoomWriter?
EASY! I was so excited to NOT have to individually add each student. It was easy for them to log in. I will say it was a little tricky on the approving and assigning to the right class but I caught on quickly.
What kind of writing do your students do with BoomWriter?
So far I have only done narrative writing and I let the students vote on which story writer starter they wanted to use. I am currently planning a poetry project for my rotations to complete.
Has BoomWriter helped boost engagement in the class?
YES! All day long I have to teach informative and opinion writing. They have to use text evidence and state their opinions. Boomwriter lets them use their creativity and their imagination. I am trying to incorporate it weekly.
What group/type of students within your class has using BoomWriter benefitted the most?
I have noticed that while all my students love it, I am getting more info from my lower students. They usually only write responding to articles using info and opinion and this really opened up my eyes to what they are capable of. So many times in the classroom we have to prepare them for a certain type of test or writing and there is not enough creative writing happening in the classroom. Students that can barely write a paragraph responding to an informational text are able to write multiple paragraphs when they are able to be creative.
Has BoomWriter countered any of the challenges you mentioned above?
Yes. Definitely with creativity and helping me teach conventions through creative writing.
Are there other teachers in your school who use BoomWriter at your school? If so, how many?
Yes! I just convinced another teacher to join and we are going to start a poetry project. I have talked it up and introduced it to many teachers. We have just gone through a hurricane and our town is pretty much in shambles so introducing new stuff is not always welcome by all teachers. I think Boomwriter has been amazing and I started it after the hurricane. It was a great thing for them and let them be creative amidst everything that is going on. I also attended the Get Your Teach on Conference this past week and I shared Boomwriter with many of the people I met during the sessions.
How do your students feel about using BoomWriter?
They LOVE it and can’t wait to work on Boomwriter. They want to write and they want their writing to be good so they can win a chapter. They get excited about the stories and the stories they are writing.