Friday, March 24, 2017

Sharing the Journey

I selfishly decided to try the Slice of Life challenge for the first time because I needed a push to get back into writing. I was pretty excited and challenged my students to join me too. Instead of blogging they are doing it the old fashion way: with paper and pencil. For them, there are incentives, just like for me. I have a steady amount of kids who have written every single day so far! And that makes my heart smile.

Each morning we do a slice check in where the students come see me, tell me what they wrote about the day before, then I keep track of their writing on a chart that is up in the classroom. They always check to make sure that I wrote and more times than not, I share my writing with them. I have been trying to step out of my comfort zone and try various writing techniques that I have noticed on the bloggers that I comment on.

By sharing my writing, I have introduced all different forms of poetry. And my once we don't get poetry kids, are writing poetry all the time. Today I shared my post from yesterday about student-led conferences. It had repetition, showed what I observed during this, and introduced found poems.

My students are familiar with black-out poetry but this was different. I shared the process I went through to produce the blog post. I talked about my struggles with what I wanted to stand out, how I had to rearrange my sentences to create the found poem, and I had to really think. I did a lot of staring at my screen, typing, deleting, and retyping.  I know they appreciated what I had to say about them, and they thought the found poem was really neat.

My students are writers. They write because they like to. They write because I don't grade or judge any writing in their writer's notebook. Their notebook is their safe place. They can write however they want. Follow rules. Not follow rules. They experiment and have voice. I wonder how many of them will step out of their comfort zone this weekend and try a found poem.

If I had to gather, I would say a lot because they are risk takers. And they LOVE to write.


  1. Nothing teaches like sharing your process and humility with your students.

  2. It's amazing what the Slice of Life Challenge does for your classroom writing community. There's nothing like it! Sharing your own writing is so powerful!

  3. Your students are learning so much from you! Early in the challenge, I noticed that my site listed the time of each of my edits. I found that the poem took me 15 minutes to write, and that I edited 17 times. THis prompted a good discussion about revising constantly.

  4. Modelling the writing process and taking risks along with them is powerful. They feel safe because you are down in the trenches with them. What a wonderful experience for everyone in your class.