Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Our aim is for every child to develop a passion for writing and storytelling

 

Writing Legends - On registration and administration

To register, teachers can visit  http://www.writinglegends.com.

1. Click on the “Teachers Register Here” button.  
a. Create a teacher account by completing your details.
b. Select your school from the list. If your school is not listed, feel free to add your school.
c. Create your class by clicking + Add Class.
d. Add your students. Type in their names or copy them from a spreadsheet. When completed, hit the Submit button.
e. Classes may have up to 40 students. If you have more than this, you will need to create an additional class. Once you hit submit, the student usernames and passwords will be auto-generated.

f. Print student usernames/passwords.
g. Students can now begin their writing activities . (Students need to login to begin writing).

2.  Alternatively, teachers and students may also commence by using their Google Classroom credentials. (Google Classroom is a free web service developed by Google for schools to enable teachers to put all assignments, announcements and student work in one place).  Please note that you cannot use the systems inter-changeably –  teachers will need to choose between the Google Classroom credential or register via the Writing Legends class admin dashboard.

Your username is the email address used to register the account.

Teachers are not able to delete their class.  However,  you have the option to delete the students from your class or rename your class if you wish.

To rename your class:
Log in > visit Class Admin > Edit Class > Rename your class.
To delete the students in your class:
Log in > visit Class Admin > Edit Class > Empty Class. 

If you are a non-Google Classroom user
Writing Legends has a Class Admin section. 
1. Sign in to your teacher account
2. Add a class
3. Add students. Either type the individual names in or copy and paste from your list
4. Distribute the student usernames and passwords which will be automatically generated.

If you are Google Classroom user
Sign in to Writing Legends with your Google Classroom credentials – both teacher and students will need to sign in to begin the writing activities.

 

Yes, students need to sign in. 

Where the teacher has signed into Writing Legends using their Google Classroom credentials, the students are expected to sign into Writing Legends with their student login credentials as well.

Where the teacher has registered on Writing Legends using the Class Admin dashboard, they would also upload all student details. These details once submitted, would auto-generate the student usernames and passwords.

When signed in, the student accesses the student portal and the teacher accesses the teacher portal.

No, you don’t have to – it is your choice. If you are not already experienced with Google Classroom, we recommend you use our Class Admin system. Approximately 80% of teachers do this.

If you have started with a Google Classroom account and wish to change to our Class Admin system, you simply register again as a teacher without using the Google Classroom button.

If you have a composite class, you can split your students into two classes categorised by grade.

No, Writing Legends is not embedded within Google Classroom. At present, what we allow is for both students and teachers to sign into Writing Legends with their Google Classroom credentials. Writing activities cannot be deployed within the Google Classroom platform. This is something we are working on. In the meantime, we suggest that teachers wishing to do this send a message to their students to sign into Writing Legends with their Google Classroom accounts and do the particular activities they wish for them to do.

Yes, we have this facility. Email us and we will assist with this.

We recommend that students have access to a desktop or laptop and the use of a keyboard as this makes typing much easier. An internet connection is required. Chromebooks work well. iPads are possible but are more challenging for typing.

Teachers do not have the ability to change schools once they have made a selection. Email us  with relevant details and we will make the corrections.

  • Students and teachers have access from wherever they are to some great writing activities
  • Teachers may set specific activities for individual students, groups of students or the whole class
  • Teachers are able to see how long students spend on activities and then provide individual feedback.
As part of our Assistance for Schools response to Coronavirus, we are providing Writing Legends free of charge through to July 31, 2020.  Here are more details on this Assistance for Schools in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States and Canada.

No – we welcome all schools to make use of Writing Legends and believe it is helpful to start using in advance of any possible closure. 

Yes – while we have officially released the primary content, this is still highly appropriate for lower secondary. 

Other teachers will need to register at Writing Legends to get started. We are also able to do bulk uploads of your school role. Email us if you require this assistance.

The grade / year level is set at the time you create your class. Should you need to change your grade / year level much later, please contact us to get this done.

If you need to change the email address associated with your account, please contact us. 

As part of our response to Coronavirus, Writing Legends is completely free of charge through to July 31, 2020. There is no obligation for you to continue beyond that if you do not wish to. There will be no automatic charges either. Should you choose to continue, the price will be $11.50 (USD) per student licence – this is a once-off fee as opposed to an annual subscription.

Writing Legends - On writing activities

Writing Legends automatically has five focus writing activities every two weeks. Four of the focus activities are “Quick Writes” and the other is a “Writing Process” which includes plan, draft, edit & reflect and publish. The Quick Writes are positioned as 10 minute activities, although there is no reason why you can’t encourage students to spend longer on them. You will see how long students do actually take and you can also see how they constructed their responses in the Replay section (teachers love this!!).

Teachers may also set additional Writing Process activities to individuals, groups or the whole class. You may also find it beneficial to ask your students to do the previous Quick Writes from earlier focus activities. In general, students will prefer to do the Quick Writes as they have been designed to captivate the students.

Yes, Writing Legends can be easily used to engage students for anywhere from 20 mins to 4 hours per week.

Teachers have the ability to grant “independent” status to certain students who have demonstrated an ability to edit their Writing Process activities independently. For other students who do not have this feature turned on, they will begin planning and drafting their writing activity after which it will be paused pending teacher feedback. Once that is received, students will be able to move to the next phase of editing and writing. In this way, teachers are able to meet the various needs of students. Teachers have full control on which student can be granted the independent status.

Storyathon - On registration and administration

Storyathon is free for schools. To register, teachers can visit  http://www.storyathon.com :

1. Click on the “Teachers Register Here” button.  
a. Create a teacher account
b. Select your school from the list. If your school is not listed, feel free to add your school.
c. Create your class.
d. Add your students  – usernames and passwords will be auto-generated.
e. Print student usernames/passwords.
f. Students can now start creating stories. (Students need to login to begin writing)
g. Classes may have up to 40 students. If you have more than this, you will need to create an additional class. 

2.  Teachers and students may also commence Storyathon  by using their Google Classroom credentials. (Google Classroom is a free web service developed by Google for schools to enable teachers to put all assignments, announcements and student work in one place).  Please note that you cannot use the systems inter-changeably –  teachers will need to choose between the Google Classroom credential or register via the Storyathon class admin dashboard.

Storyathon is an exciting and free online event where students are challenged to write a story that is exactly 100 words. Our goal is for every child to develop a passion for writing and storytelling. We want to build a community of learners. Writing a microstory is an inclusive and accessible learning activity which everyone can participate in and have fun.

This event is for:
– US and Canada – Grades 3 to 6;
– Australia – Years 3 to 8; and
– New Zealand – Years 4 to 9.

Every school term, there is a Storyathon event which has three phases in this order:

  1. Student Writing Phase – this is where students create their stories on the given theme. Students are encouraged to write up to three stories. This happens within the first seven weeks of term approximately.
  2. Teaching Voting  Phase – this is where the teacher selects three stories from their class.
  3. Student Voting Phase – students come back online and are asked to select their two favorite stories from a set of six finalist stories. Students are not aware of who the author is or what school they come from.

Storyathon is an exciting and free online event for:

– US and Canada – Grades 3 to 6;
– Australia – Years 3 to 8; and
– New Zealand – Years 4 to 9.

If your students fall outside these age groups, you are still welcome to participate. Simply select the grade level “Other”.

As a teacher, if you find that your school is not listed, you can simply create a new school on the list.

Your  username is the email address used to register the account.

No, Storyathon is a free, online event for schools. 

While we do encourage teachers to register and participate as a class, we also welcome parents, those who are homeschooling their children or anyone else who might be providing support to students. This may include  tutoring centres or writing groups. Simply register as a teacher. Then, create your own school and class to begin. The screenshot above shows the link you need to click on to do this. Students need to login in order to participate.

As a teacher, you may sign up for free. If you have a Google Classroom account, simply use those credentials to sign in. Follow the instructions in the question above, “How do I register for Storyathon?”

Participation is completely flexible. You can join each term/semester or up to four times a year. 

Storyathon runs once each term. You can choose how often you would like to participate – there is no obligation to participate each term.

Yes. Student names are never displayed in full. The default is first name and initial.

No, your class roll will be available via Google Classroom. Please note that  you won’t see everything from Storyathon in Google Classroom. We are working on that integration. What we enable is your signing on to Storyathon using your Google Classroom account. Adding student details and printing the class roll will need to be done within Google Classroom.

No, the two accounts do not sync. Teachers are encouraged to use either the Storyathon Class Admin or Google Classroom. Please note that  you won’t see everything from Storyathon in Google Classroom. We are working on that integration. What we enable is your signing on to Storyathon using your Google Classroom account.

At this stage, you are not able to add multiple teachers to your class. We are working on this feature.  In the meantime,  you can share the one account.

If you have a composite class, it depends on the year you choose. In Australia, for example, there are three divisions:

  • 1st division comprises Years 3 and 4;
  • 2nd division comprises Years 5 and 6;
  • 3rd division comprises Years 7 and 8.

If your student ages fall within one division, then you can choose that level. However, if the ages mix between the divisions, then you need to create more classes accordingly.

  • a new theme is issued each term
  • ‘write the story’ feature
  • the ability to submit up to three story entries
  • Storyathon story showcase
  • a time indicator which shows the time remaining for student writing
  • a thesaurus which assists word choice.
  • portfolio of student writing
  • Storyathon story showcase
  • live feed of student stories
  • classroom management dashboard
  • class cloud – highlighting vocabulary.

We recommend that students have access to a desktop or laptop and the use of a keyboard as this makes typing much easier. An internet connection is required. Chromebooks work well. iPads are possible but are more challenging for typing.

If you already have a Storyathon account, you and your students will be able to sign in at Writing Legends (using the same credential) through to July 31, 2020 as part of our Assistance for Schools response to Coronavirus.

Storyathon - On writing stories, submission and voting

  • Forces the writer to question each word;
  • Encourages craftsmanship and creativity;
  • Presents a unique challenge.

Students are challenged to write a story that is precisely 100 words in length. There is a word count within the program and the title is not counted as part of the 100 word allocation. 

Yes!  Students may create up to three stories each term. 

Once the stories are completed, teachers then select three stories to go through as finalists to the student voting round.  As we are building a community of learners, we publish many of the stories because it is an opportunity to showcase great writing. Students are encouraged to read and enjoy other stories. In fact,  many teachers have commented on how valuable it is for students to be able to view other students’ wonderful stories.  Once logged in, a student can look through a Top 10 Showcase on the site, categorised by age group. There is also a Story Showcase on our blog.

This is more of a creative writing event rather than a contest. There are many  winning stories. However, our over-riding goal at Storyathon is to garner more participation and enjoyment for all students.

Yes, there are prizes:
1. The National Champion receives a Storyathon trophy. 
2. The Top 10 stories receive a Storyathon Top 10 Certificate. The Top 10 stories will be published in the Storyathon Chronicle.
3. Finalists receive a digital certificate which may be printed.

However, our greater emphasis is on encouraging each child to enjoy writing.  To date, we’re happy to see such high levels of participation. 

Absolutely not!  Our purpose is to create an environment where every child becomes more motivated to write and think of ideas. We are far more concerned about participation and motivation, as opposed to the winning stories. We want every child to view themself as an author.

Yes, students can. We are building a community of learners. We publish many of the stories because it is an opportunity to showcase great writing. It encourages other students to read and enjoy them. At the same time, it presents a unique opportunity for students to also learn from each other.  Student first names and surname initial will be used to protect privacy. Once logged in, a student can look through a Top 10 Showcase on the site, categorised by age group. There is also a Story Showcase on our blog.

Students can log in and out as many times as they like to make edits to their story before the deadline. There is no ‘submit’ button but there is an auto-save feature (saving every 30 seconds) and this status is visible below the story editing section.

Once the teacher has registered and created a class with relevant student details, the student will need to login to the site with the unique username and password generated. The student will be able to see the story theme and be able to send in three entries in total. The stories are typed out on the website itself. 

The stories are auto-saved as the students write them out. There will be a notification bar visible once the student begins writing. It will indicate that the work has been saved. There is no submit button. Students can continue to log in and out as often as they like and keep editing their story until the deadline. The number of days remaining will be clearly indicated on the dashboard. 

Students need to sign in to their accounts in order to write their stories. There is no submit button. Students can keep creating and editing their stories right until the deadline.

Teachers can only do this once the student writing deadline has elapsed. The reasons teachers cannot nominate stories prior to this point is that stories remain fully editable right up to that point in time. During the Teacher Selection of Finalists period, teachers simply need to sign in to their accounts and follow the instructions for nominating the finalists.

When you log into Storyathon, you will be able to see the selection page. This is where you select the finalists from each of your classes. If you don’t have any eligible stories, then you will not have anything to choose from here. You would then be taken to the usual landing page. An eligible story is a 100 word story.

On average, we see students taking a little over 20 minutes to create their stories. We do, of course, encourage students to craft their stories over multiple days.

Final entries are at an individual student level. We do, however, strongly encourage the sharing of stories within groups and classes for the purpose of obtaining feedback and further ideas. Many teachers find it useful to pair students up, reading each others’ stories and making suggestions. 

The podcast feature is a new element that we have included in Storyathon which serves to showcase the brilliant stories written. We hope that you find them useful as both a motivational tool and an additional way of giving your students ideas as to how they may improve their stories. We have specifically chosen Communications graduates to host the podcasts as we feel that students will relate well to the young voices.

 

The student voting phase is an extremely important part of the process and judging is a valuable learning experience for students. We encourage your students to vote on the stories even if they did not complete a Storyathon during the term.

When the student voting phase begins:

  • Students sign in to their Storyathon accounts. They will be presented with six finalist stories
  • Students need to choose their two favorite stories
  • Students will not judge finalists from their school and they will not know who the author of the story is.

The judging process is not expected to take more than 10 minutes. We also encourage teachers to vote – you simply need to sign into your account.