Saturday, January 12, 2008

Fun with Fonts

Yesterday was the deadline for my students to hand in their Young Authors books. Young Authors is a writing competition for which students have to compose an original informational, narrative, or poetry book, "bind" it, and hand it in. I then read all of them (from my class only, thank god), pick the best one, and enter it into the schoolwide competition. Then 3 are chosen from there and sent on to the citywide competition, and so on.

While we worked on the books in class, I assigned the bulk of the work to be completed over winter break. We simply do not have enough time to devote to such a big writing project in school. (I feel very sad writing that). About 3 weeks before winter break, I assembled a packet explaining exactly what had to be done, how the book was to be bound, how it was going to be judged, etc. The only thing I failed to mention in the packet was...

the font that was to be used if one was going to type their book.

Big mistake. If you don't tell a nine-year old to use Times New Roman or something plain like that, you end up with a paper written in fonts that blogger won't even let me cut and paste into here, like the one that looks like old English or the one that looks "scary," like there's blood dripping from it. While those are fun to use, have you ever tried to read an 8-page paper written in fancy script with all its loopty-loops? It's not fun. One of my kids got smart and chose a font that uses all caps so he didn't have to worry about capitalizing proper nouns or the beginnings of sentences. (Extra credit for cleverness?).

So another lesson learned. Fonts will from now on be limited to what my kids call "the boring ones."

1 comment:

Laural said...

Elementary students are using computers to write papers? I was still handwriting my papers in high school! That must age me quite a bit.