Slice of Life Day 30: Nearing the End with a New Beginning in Sight

The month of March is almost over as the 2014 Slice of Life March Challenge. Thank you, thank you  TaraAnnaDanaStacey,  Betsy  and Beth  and all the bloggers who contribute to  Two Writing Teachers . Enjoy other slices for day 30 here.

.11454297503_e27946e4ff_hI linger in bed, thinking of how to approach the morning. Sunday is the only day I can do this. Other days are largely predetermined. Sundays feel a little optional. Choice is present.

On my list of to do is this post, the second to the last of the March Slice of Life 2014. The second to the last of my first March Challenge. I lay here, covers over my head, blocking out the light and think on how to end this.  I compose this post in my head.  Bittersweet I think. That’s the word.

I think about big take aways, the personal and the professional. The two are not discrete elements. They are intertwined. One does not live without the other, because I am my classroom and my classroom is me. One thing I know for sure is what slicing gave me I want for my students.

This year the Classroom Slice of Life only worked for a few students, largely because I had a unit of study planned during this time. Those who participated did it in their spare time or recess time.  For most of my kiddos, writing is hard work. They love to blog, but on their own time they’d rather play on the yard, and frankly I don’t blame them. They are kids. They should run and play. For this to work they needed classroom time that I didn’t give them. Also they really didn’t have a community of writers to lean on. That was missing. My students need this community built that expects their presence.

Bottom line —

  • I want my students to consider themselves a community of writers who share and give their writing as a joy not an assignment.
  • I want them to touch each other’s lives daily with personal and academic thoughts.
  • I want them know each other and support each other as writers.
  • I want them to need to show up on the page because their writing friends are there and they deserve their presence.
  • I want them to be not only writers, but readers of writing that give support and thoughtful feedback.
  • I want them to define themselves as writers.
  • I want them to feel they are a part of a community who writes because that’s what we do.

This is the way I want to begin our school year and then continue through the year as a weekly challenge. Then when March rolls around the challenge will be something they will be able and willing to do.

For this year’s students, it’s not over yet. With a bit of schedule tweaking students can blog when they have technology and prepare for their slices on the days when they don’t. I think, I know they will love it!

Now I’ll get out of bed.

5 thoughts on “Slice of Life Day 30: Nearing the End with a New Beginning in Sight

  1. That’s exactly right, Julianne. The classroom challenge becomes so much more possible (for most of our kids – some will not get on board, and that is the reality) if they have been slicing every week. But, you don’t know what works until you give it a try a few times…and bravo to you for doing so.

  2. I love how you have taken what you gained from this and want your students to get the same feeling. Tara has written how she does this in her class every year. It would be an awesome piece for students to experience all year long. Good luck!

  3. I’m glad you put your toe in the water with the class, & now you know more & know what is needed next. Tara, above, didn’t slice during March this year, but she does it all year & they have done the challenge in the past. Check her blog & look for, or ask for, her posts about slicing with the class. It’s great. Best wishes, Julieanne, will continue to look for your posts!

  4. Love that you were able to reflect and compose this post before ever getting out of bed. Great thinking! I try to have my kids slice each year, but I’ve never managed to connect them with the community outside our classroom. I know it would be powerful for them, as it is for me.

  5. I love that you are reflecting on what you want this to become for your students next year…if it is something that we value and they can see the transformation their writing and their lives take from the feedback they get it will be transformational. You are a superior teacher because you let them teach you! xo

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