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Posts Tagged ‘Slice of Life Story Challenge’

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

    Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Recently I heard through the grapevine that Ralph Fletcher was looking for student samples of informal writing. I jumped at the chance. I emailed him three student slices. (I require a Slice of Life post on our class blog each week.) When Ralph saw the student work, he responded with questions to survey my students themselves.

I was remiss that I had never really done this before.  Asking my students to reflect on how writing a slice each week affects them was worthwhile. With permission from Ralph Fletcher, these are the questions he asked.

  • What do you like about this kind of writing?
  • Does Slice of Life writing feel different from other kinds of writing you do? How?
  • Do you think having the opportunity to do Slice of Life writing has made you a stronger/better writer? If so, how?
  • When you are doing Slice of Life writing are you thinking of an audience (who you wan to read it)?
  • Do you ever try out a Slice of Life piece at home?
  • Please answer TRUE or FALSE: I am a writer. ____TRUE ___FALSE

I read through my students’ responses and came to some conclusions.

  1. Slice of Life writing frees you to write about your own life with the support of your classmates and other bloggers.
  2. Slice of Life writing is different from other writing because it is about your own life, your own feelings, or almost anything you want to write about.
  3. Slice of Life writing makes you stronger because you are aware of an audience and so you care about the commas and stuff.  It also helps you express yourself and not hold everything inside.
  4. The Slice of Life audience are your classmates, so you try to be funny and casual and normal.
  5. Slice of Life writing can be done at home, but most of my students do not write from home.
  6. Some of my students hesitate to call themselves writers because they do not have any books written.  This response surprised me and made me realize my own hang-ups with calling myself a writer.  I need to be more intentional about telling them that they are writers.

If you are considering doing the Slice of Life Story Challenge with your students in March, I have a few tips.

  • Give parents a heads-up and encourage them to support their children by giving them computer time for writing.
  • Tell your students often that they are writers.  Post it on the wall.  Call them “writers.”
  • Encourage classmates to support each other through comments.  We occasionally have a  comment challenge.  How many comments can you do in 30 minutes?  (Once I brought Skittles, but I ran out.  And I was only giving one Skittle per comment.)
  • Ideas!  I gave my students a tiny idea notebook that they decorated, but you can also do an anchor chart or Padlet.  I’m thinking about doing an idea box, too.
  • Share your own experience.  I participate in the teacher’s Slice of Life Challenge, and I share my writing and my struggles with my students.
  • Have fun!  If it’s not fun, regroup. and evaluate.

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

I hope my title was not misleading. You will only find G-rated media here. My cyber-colleague, Kim Douillard, puts out a photo challenge every week. This week her challenge was shades of grey. An appropriate color for February. I took a walk with my favorite grey pooch, Charlie.

Grey Charlie

The sky was grey with a little blue trying to peek through. The wind was blowing, but the temperature was mild.

grey clouds

The Japanese magnolia is in full bloom. The blossoms are fragrant and vibrant pink. The trunk and branches are all grey, no green leaves. The grey backdrop makes these flowers pop and please.

Japanese Magnolia 2

Grey moss hangs from the live oaks year round. Watching the moss sway in the strong wind, I came to the conclusion that grey is beautiful.

grey moss

  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

This format of themed images with descriptions could work well for a Slice of Life post. If you are not familiar with Slice of Life, it is a monthlong writing challenge created by Stacey Shubitz of the Two Wiring Teachers. I believe, like Stacey, that a teacher of writing must be a writer. We must practice what we preach. The SOL challenge gears up in March. Today is the day to make your commitment. Be sure to go over to the site and sign up. I testify that slicing has changed my life. The daily practice of meeting a blank page and knowing I have a kind, like-minded audience waiting has made me a better teacher and a better writer.

Along with SOL month, it’s time to make plans for Digital Learning Day on March 13, 2015. Join me in a super-duper comment challenge. My students will be in their second week of the Slice Of Life Story Challenge. (Go to Two Writing Teachers for more information.) They asked me if we would be doing a comment challenge this year. So I want to declare Digital Learning Day, March 13th as Crazy Comment Challenge Day. My students slice on Kidblogs. We can only access other Kidblog sites. So if you have your students blogging, send me the link. On March 13th, we will try to visit as many sites as possible within our class time frame. Let me know if you want to take the plunge.
Tara Smith wrote a great post about preparing your students for the Slice of Life Challenge. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with other classrooms across the globe and to get your students writing daily in an authentic way. I am one of the classroom concierges for the challenge. Do not hesitate to contact me with questions.

Digital Learning Day 15

Add your DigiLit Sunday post to the round-up below.

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