SOL16, Day 21: Informal Writing

He asked her to be his Valentine.
Seemingly sweet and innocent. Typical of the age.
A boy a girl.

But this girl wanted nothing to do with it.

Perhaps she didn’t understand, he thought.
So he steeled himself and asked, “Will you be my girlfriend?”

Her response was swift, and she thought clear.
“No,” she said turning on her heel. The force of her pivot lifted her ponytail.

A slap in the face. A gauntlet thrown. 

First came the looks.
Across the room.



Then the Post-its filled with pleas and queries. “Do you still like… Mark Yes or No.”

Notes silently slipped from one side of the room to the other and back again.
Passed from the complicit, ignored by the uninvolved, to the intended. And back again.
Read and responded to between the pages of a book.
All writing tools are enlisted to support the need to communicate,
and digital devices enter the dialog.
Words fly in cyberspace.

A screen lights up.
A shared Google doc with multiple names bounces back and forth.
Red, green, blue lines signal a real-time chat in Writer’s Workshop.
Ah, the joys of technology.

Engaged, enraged, annoyed, unsuspecting authors.

The note is spotted. The screen is seen.
Out of nowhere. An interloper descends and captures the words.


Springtime writing in a Fifth Grade classroom is ever present. It happens in between the lines of reading and writing. The emotions of growing up.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers Blog for the March Slice of Life Challenge. Thank you for this playground where teacher-writers can play with story. Read more slices here.



12 thoughts on “SOL16, Day 21: Informal Writing

  1. I am laughing at this post, this typical 5th grade scene. And those nice single spaces! What a joy to have you here and writing by my side.

  2. Your finger is on the pulse of fifth graders, your eye catches the nuances. Then you turn these covert acts into a delightful read that makes me so glad I’m not a fifth grader having my heartstrings yanked.
    Check your link, it say Oops, fortunately you send me a gift so I can get here easily. 🙂

  3. You have captured a place in time long forgotten with your whimsical post today. I enjoyed the mystery of what was going on in your classroom, and the capture! The beginning of such difficult, often painful years, but you’ve captured it with such humor.

  4. I know the reality of this was probably tumultuous for your students, but this read was sheer delight from an adult point of view. Love the lyric poetry of it. And how you spaced the I N L I N E down the page. I’m guessing you were the interloper. 😉 Your writing made me smile this morning.

  5. “Informal writing” for sure. Funny, but I think you must be glad it was foiled, captured, stopped before it grew into something more. Clever delivery, from you, Julieanne, not so clever from the lovelorn.

  6. Oh man, fifth grade. “Check here” I can visualize this so clearly thanks to your words and am grinning for it. Oh so much anguish then for the hilarity of it now. Thank you for the much needed grin.

  7. “Springtime writing in a Fifth Grade classroom is ever present. It happens in between the lines of reading and writing.” Perfectly captured!

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