SOL16, Day 5: Celebrating Writing

Some people have eyes that find stories. They see things.

Much of the time, I operate in plot mode. What-happens-next thinking. That mindset gets me from place to place, but I miss things.

That’s why writing is necessary. To see the stories and understand. To reflect, grow and perhaps instigate some self-improvement.

For my students, writing is in its infant stages. Until this year, writing has existed mostly in structured units of study instruction. That’s a gift. Writers need guiding.  But to live a writer’s life or even come close to it, a writer needs to practice. And I don’t mean independent work time after the mini lesson. I mean independent writing practice. Time and space to germinate. If we don’t allow some time for this in our classrooms, how will students write when there isn’t a mini lesson that precedes it?

I want students to know they can and should write when they leave the classroom. That writing is a part of life. That writing isn’t just for a teacher.

To promote this, the first fifteen minutes of every class period, all students may choose to read or write. This month, some brave students have taken up the SOL classroom challenge. Just like those of us who slice, their experiences vary day to day.

T was reading Vanissa’s post aloud during lunch on Wednesday. You may know Vanissa from Margaret Simon’s classroom. When she finished, she said, “Wow, she’s a good writer.”

Thursday M looked up and said, “Stories are getting harder to find.” I smile and nod. She goes back to writing, knowing her time is limited.

Fifteen minutes isn’t enough time for N. He finishes up at recess. I have to kick him out a few minutes before the bell, so we get a bathroom break.

J discovered the clever posts of Kaiden.  “Look I figured it out, he writes in invisible ink.”

B looks up from his computer on Friday and says, “Hey there’s someone named Elsie, who commented on my post. Cool.”

Friday, D tells me to look for her posts over the weekend.

These six writers represent some of the students who have opened themselves up to the world to tell their stories. In each post, I see a little more of them. Just like I see of my fellow slicers. Some of these students are the ones you’d predict to go for this opportunity. They are the writers. The ones who rise to a challenge. But some are not who you’d expect. For a few students, blogging has been the one place they feel they shine.

This week I celebrate my student writers. Their growth and enthusiasm. If you want a taste of their slices, check here.

This week I celebrate the Slice of Life Classroom Challenge, the other classrooms who are slicing, and the wonderful adults who have commented on my students’ posts.

This week I celebrate the Slice of Life Challenge. A place that promotes writing forcing one to find story, meaning and reason in life. Thank you, Two Writing Teachers and all those who contribute to the slicing experience. Read more slices here.


This week I celebrate writing. Thank you, Ruth, for your weekly call to celebrate the week. Find more celebrations here.

celebrate link up



19 thoughts on “SOL16, Day 5: Celebrating Writing

  1. I have been trying to get some writing beyond the classroom going with kidblog over these last two weeks. I’m just rotating my kids through their use of chrome books and desktops. So far, it is really going well. Im reading a lot more of their writing. They are starting to write in response to each other. I hope we can continue to inspire children to continue and learn beyond the walls of a classroom with these tools.

  2. I wish I had a classroom so that I could see the response of writers who blog this month: how they nurture each other’s stories, and how they grow. They are so fortunate to have you as their teacher!

  3. The daily slicing is challenging for adults. It’s impressive when students are able to persevere and create daily. This shows that they are equipped with skills, craft, habits and attitudes and they understand the importance of showing up daily. You have played a key role in their writerly development.

  4. It was cool hearing the names of my students in your post. Kaiden was so sneaky that I kept putting his post back into draft. Finally I told him, “I cannot post this until you have written something.” He grinned. Then I smacked my head like the one in the V8 commercial, “That’s it! You can’t write invisible posts anymore!” They have fooled me one time too many.

  5. Julieanne, this comment of yours struck me: In each post, I see a little more of them. That is so true in our adult posts. I wondered when I first started with the writing communities how others knew each other so well. Now I see that each post reveals a piece of who we are. Some bloggers’ wit or humor shows. Some have a creative flair. All whom I’ve met are sensitive. Slicing and celebrating allow for our human side to come out. It is voice that we want to share and I am so glad that your students are finding theirs and sharing their voices with the world.

  6. I am trying kidblog for the first time and I love it!! My district will only will let the kids read each other’s and not shared to the whole world but I love it!!! They love it!! In 3 days the 24 of us had made 140 comments and 30 posts!! Reading your post reminds me of the power of writing in a community!! Congrats to your students!!

  7. I like the reminder of writing for writing’s sake, not just for a unit of study. How can we foster this time and space in our classrooms to give students opportunities? We’ve done a few rounds of independent writing projects in between units of study, but I like the daily opportunity you’re giving your students!

  8. Thanks for the kind shout out! Beautiful post! May I share it on the Classroom Slice page? I’m posting the calls for classroom slices this week.

  9. What a gift you give to your students allowing them to experience the joy of writing for pleasure, not an assignment. Here I was well into my fifties before I found this joy. I always wondered about the reaction kids have to seeing comments from someone outside their world. I will try to comment more as the month goes on. 🙂

  10. “Some people have eyes that find stories” I love this! This is something that SOLC does for me as a writer – it helps me look more closely for the stories that fill my days.

    I enjoyed reading a bunch of your students’ slices this morning. Way to go teacher! And I love the idea of starting your day with 15 minutes of reading OR writing. Choice is such a beautiful way to teach.

  11. Writing can be a challenge, but it’s also very rewarding. I love that your students have that time and choice at the beginning of class. That seems like a great way to warm up for class.

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