And we are off…


I am grossly aware of my silence this year on my blog, but rather than beat myself up over what I could have done and should have done, I am moving on…resurrecting my ‘inner writer’.

Today, March 1, 2015, the class kicked off the Two Writing Teachers‘ “Slice of Life Classroom Challenge“. Earlier in the year, your child set up a personal blog in which to express their autonomy and creativity as budding writers. As blogs provide a platform in which a writer can engage with an authentic audience, joining the Slice of Life Classroom Challenge presents an opportunity to reach out to other young authors around the world.

Each day in the month of March, students are required to post a slice of their life. This ‘slice’, from past or present, can be in the form of a memoir, anecdote, journal entry, opinion piece, poem…basically, whatever suits the author’s fancy as long as it represents a ‘slice’ of their life.

As writing is a form of self-expression, this is a perfect opportunity for students to try on their voice and shout out to the world what they want it to hear – an opportunity to wallow in the words of memories, of experiences.

Words…are full of echoes, of memories, of associations. They have been out and about, on people’s lips, in their houses, in the streets, in the fields, for so many centuries ….Words live in the mind…variously and strangely.”~ Virginia Woolf

To support the students, I too am taking part in the Slice of Life Story Challenge (for adults), which means I will be writing alongside the students. This is a challenge on many levels. I love to write, but I am a ruminator that agonizes over every word which under the time constraints, will force me to write more fluidly. Also, I enjoy conferencing with students about their writing, but in order for me to model myself as a writer, I will have to squeeze conferencing in at another time. Although not ideal, I feel these bumps and bruises are worth the end result – producing motivated, passionate writers.

Writing every day may cause some anxiety, so to further support the students, I will provide a mentor text each day focusing on a particular type of writing and/or writing technique. Students then have the choice to model their writing for the day after the model, or branch off on their own. You can offer encouragement by talking with your child each day about possibilities for future slices as well as reinforce the idea that published writing is fully developed and polished. All advice and editing is not only encouraged, but welcomed!

To view your child’s posts, please visit our classroom blog, Wonderland. The home page of the blog, features my musings. The sidebar on the right features student blogs. Simply scroll down to find your child’s name and click on the link to read their voice. Everyone loves an audience, so if you have time, please feel free to leave a comment on a post of your child’s blog and perhaps another child’s post.

Thank you for your continued support in fostering the young minds of the world.


3 thoughts on “And we are off…

  1. Hello! I have not been to your blog for a while, so today I looked around a bit. I absolutely love your treasury of Investigation Tools! I have some of those on my blog and available to my students, but never thought to include a step by step for Determining Word Sums or Uncovering Denotations. It is also great to keep a collected list of Prefixes and Suffixes. I simply must get on this right away!

    I also love the ‘Slice of Life’ daily writing you are planning. My students also have blogs, but too few write on theirs regularly. Perhaps you wouldn’t mind if my students began a similar endeavor and then visited your students’ blogs to read and comment?

    Thank you for inspiring me with fresh ideas!
    ~ Mary Beth Steven

    • Hello Mary Beth. So nice of you to respond; it fuels the resurrection of my blog. I would love to connect our classrooms via blogs. My students would love to have a permanent audience to write for and would be happy to offer encouragement to your students. Please let me know and we can set something up. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I applaud you for getting your students involved in the SOL challenge, and for setting such a great example for them by getting involved yourself! Maybe I can do the same next year with my third graders!

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