Monday, February 25, 2013
Slice of Life Challenge...Not Just for Me
Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge. I had read the monthly slices, but never posted any of my own writing. After seeing Ruth Ayres at the Dublin Literacy Conference, I decided I was going to try it. Since I was going to give it a try, I thought, why not bring my students along with me. I made little Slice of Life journals for each of my kids and we wrote through the month together. The experience turned out to be so much more than I ever imagined. Our writing community became even closer and writers who previously had just gone through the motions of writing workshop were transformed. The power in writing every day and receiving feedback from other writers changed their view of writing. They began to really see that their voices mattered.
Fast forward one year and it's time again for the challenge. This year, my fourth graders are quite savvy with blogging and I'm feeling a little more confident now that I've got a year of slicing under my belt. I'm giving them the choice to either blog or write in their Slice of Life journals, or do a combination of the two. In addition, two other classes are joining us as well as our principal. (How cool is that?) I'm going to put the kids into small writing groups to comment on each other's writing and our three classes will get together periodically to share our work. All in all, we will have about 85 kids, 4 teachers, and our principal writing every day in March. Our writing community is going to be amazing!
We had the pleasure of Skyping with Stacey Shubitz of Two Writing Teachers today. She gave a little background of the Slice of Life Challenge and then answered kids' questions. (I'll share a video clip later this week). The room was abuzz after our Skype visit. Several kids wanted to get started tonight. I love that kind of enthusiasm! Tomorrow they will make their Slice of Life journals their own by decorating the covers and I will teach them how to link their blog posts to our classroom blog. Yesterday, I created a screencast ...that's another story...4 hours to make a 4 minute screencast. I will use it to show the kids how to link their blogs, give them some practice time, and hopefully, we will be ready to go for Friday. You can view it here: Link to our Class blog
If you are interested in joining the Slice of Life Challenge or classroom challenge, check out Two Writing Teachers. There is a specific link for the classroom challenge and another post about starting your own blog. I'm looking forward to connecting with other writers this month, getting back into the habit of writing every day, and sharing the experience with the young writers in my room.