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Our Wisconsin charter school uses scientific research and project-based learning as the focus of our curriculum. Project learning is based on a constructivist model of learning that engages you in real-world scholarly activity because you get to chose topics that interest you.
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Challenging Our Limits

Posted on December 3, 2012 by Alynzia Fenske

Have you ever challenged your limits, and ended up going on a crazy adventure?  That's how a group of eight girls spent their November in 2012, and it was quite a ride!  The basis for this adventure started when two of those girls (Lydia and I) discovered an annual event called NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. 

The purpose of this event is to write a novel in only one month, which is a lot harder than it sounds.  The adult challenge is to write 50,000 words by November 30, and the youth challenge is to set your own word count goal to complete by that time.  Since it was our first year participating, we decided that the youth challenge would be the better way to go.  To prepare, we spent October plotting and planning our storylines, and enjoyed some interesting writing exercises along the way.  Each day the gravity of November's approach caused our anticipation to grow, and then the day came…

"Time to write!" we all exclaimed, thrusting our pencils into the air!  We each had our very own characters to torture in whichever ways we liked, and our own word count goals to complete, and we were determined!  The month was an adventure to be sure, with each day bringing a new source for writer's block, and a new puzzle to get around.  We learned a lot about our personal writing styles, along with what genres we enjoy more than others.  We also had a lot of fun!  Most importantly, at the end of the month we each had the start of a novel that we had written OURSELVES!  Our final word counts ranged from 5,000 to 20,000, and everyone reached the goal they had set!  It was an experience that we'll never forget, and some of us are already planning on doing it again next year. 

Have you ever challenged your limits?  If you haven't, I would definitely encourage it.  It's very rewarding!



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In the winter of 2011, Wildlands Charter School students began producing news stories for our website and an electronic email newsletter.

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