Sunday, March 3, 2013

Slice three – Classroom Slice of Life

Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers. For the month of March we are challenging ourselves to write a Slice A Day

Participating in the Slice of Life Challenge last year was so inspiring to me; I decided to involve my students for this year. We do not have student blogs, however, so I pondered what we would do. After giving it much thought, I went with a low-tech version that really only involves our class.

Last week I explained the challenge to them. I read them a poem I had written for them. (HERE) It will be our writing unit for the month of March. That means there is a grade tied to it – which caused several students to panic. How can they possibly write daily? Did I mean on the weekend? Did I mean over Spring Break? I assured them that yes, I did in fact mean every day for the month of March. 31 days. Ten minutes a day. They can do this.

Yesterday we began. I shared my own slice from my blog. We spread out across the room and I gave them ten minutes to write – whatever they felt like writing. After the ten minutes was up I handed out this sheet:

Here they will keep track. A check in the top box is their own reminder – did they write that day? On the days we have school – the boxes that are not shaded in – they will be responsible for commenting on other students’ writing – at least three. I wanted them to have an “audience” but also wanted to keep it in our classroom.

So Friday they opened their journals to that day’s entry. Armed with post-it notes they circled the room, writing a note and placing it on their classmates’ journals. They kept track on their sheet who they commented to. I asked them to try and comment on a variety of notebooks through this month – not their closest friend’s notebooks only.

I know they were nervous about others seeing their writing, but it went well. And when we were done and I saw several students taping some of the comments that had been left in their journals, I knew then that this would be worthwhile. Day 1 in the classroom done and I’m already glad I took this on.