Tag Archives: #SOL17

Eyes Wide Open This Time

slice-of-life_individualLast year I joined the Slice of Life Challenge with no clue what I was in for.  Sure, I thought “This will be fun. I’ll practice my writing a little more purposefully, get feedback as well as inspiration from others.”  Well, it was fun! I was more purposeful (beyond what I could have anticipated) and the feedback and inspiration was nothing I could have imagined.

At times it was exhausting. I was overwhelmed and struggling to post some days. At times it was exhilarating. I couldn’t wait to get home and share an experience or idea. But what I couldn’t have anticipated was how differently I experienced life for the month of March. Suddenly everything was more real, vivid, and colorful. I felt more alive.  I saw everything as a story to be told and it gave the small things such importance. It graced me with such a sense of gratitude for each conversation, experience, or emotion.

I’m trying to start this #SOL17 with no expectations-I find that’s the best way to eliminate (or reduce) frustration and disappointment.  But I DO have a clue for what I am in for and I am ready to slice with my eyes (and my heart) wide open.

I am grateful to all of my fellow slicers who will inspire me this month.  I am especially excited that 3 other teachers in my district will be slicing as first timers this year. I have always admired them and this raises my respect to new heights. I will read far more slices than I’ll have time to respond to, so just know that your words are being received and appreciated and your energy is infectious.

Happy Slicing!

Plan Ahead to “Slice”!

slice-of-life_individualUPDATE: I will begin blogging every day in the month of March for the #SOL17 (Slice of Life Challenge) I won’t be posting about teaching pedagogy, instructional ideas, or book recommendations.  Rather, I’ll be sharing “slices” of small moments, poems, photos, that reflect what is important or ‘in the moment’ for me in the month of March.  I’ll go back to my regularly scheduled blogs once a week in April. If you’d like to “slice” I have information in this post to help get you going!

This March marks the 10th year of The Slice of Life Challenge  hosted by Two Writing Teachers. The idea is to write a small “Slice of Life” every day in the month of March. The  Two Writing Teachers believe, “Teachers who write regularly can better support the students they teach in writing workshops daily.” I couldn’t agree more.

Last year was my first in attempting this challenge and I have to say it was truly a ‘game changer’ for me.  Knowing that I would be writing a little each day not only kept my skills sharp and my ideas flowing, but I began to frame experiences as stories.  Everything around me suddenly became seeds for writing.  I saw my world in a whole new way-I began to appreciate others’ experiences with greater clarity and compassion.

I lived a writerly life!

I strongly encourage every teacher I know to give this challenge a try. You may not be able to write every single day, but even if you wrote several times a week I guarantee you will think about writing with such a different perspective. You will see the writers in your classroom with greater appreciation and empathy.

The big idea is that you write about what is important to you: a moment in your day, a memory from your past, a poem, a short story, a collection of words or images that expresses a “slice of your life”.  Then you post it on your blog and post the link on the Two Writing Teachers Blog (https://twowritingteachers.org ) so that other slicers can read and comment on your posts. You also agree to read and comment on at least 3 other slicers writing each day. That way you are truly part of a writing community! Believe me, you will love getting feedback from others!

All Participants click here for PARTICIPANT INFORMATION FORM starting Feb 19

First Time Slicers CHECK OUT THIS LINK that goes live on Feb 20.

Not sure you can do it?  Here are a few tips to help…

  • Read through the directions before March 1 so you can be ready
  • Set up a FREE blog on Blogger, Edublogs, or WordPress (click HERE for easy tutorial)
  • Write some slices ahead of time- there will be days you can’t carve out 10 minutes to write, I get that.  Have some slices ready to go that you can quickly post.
  • Don’t want to create a blog? Post a slice to Facebook with the hashtag #SOL17 and use the Slice of Life Logo as your image, you won’t be officially in The Slice of Life Challenge but it’s better than not slicing at all!)
  • Don’t quit if you miss some days-sure writing every day is great, but living a writerly life is a greater goal!
  • Invite some of your friends to take the challenge with you.  We all know that accountability partners help us with our goals.
  • Read other “Slices” for inspiration and ideas-it’s probably not as daunting as you might think when you can see what it looks like.

Not convinced? Here are my Take-Aways from last year:

  1. Stories are everywhere-seriously…EVERYWHERE!
  2. We are not the center of the universe.
  3. Some days writing is hard.
  4. There is no standardized unit of measure for a “slice”
  5. Some slices whet our appetites for writing!
  6. Getting comments on your writing makes you feel good.
  7. Writing gets easier when it becomes a habit.
  8. Being a part of a writing community enhances your writing identity.
  9. Writing shapes the way you think about the world.
  10. I am going to miss the intensity of pulling story from experience each day.

Happy Writing!!

What’s On My Book Radar?

screen-shot-2017-02-18-at-9-22-24-amThe Writing Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo

If you are a nerdy teacher like me you have probably been waiting with baited-breath for this resource! Just like her companion text The Reading Strategies Book, Jen Serravallo has compiled an amazing series of lesson ideas to meet the needs of of literacy learners from K-8. She builds off the work of Lucy Calkins and Carl Anderson to offer concrete and specific teaching points to move writers forward. A ‘must-have’ resource for writing teachers!

I also think this could be a great resource for SLICERS to try out some writing techniques during the Slice of Life Challenge in March!

Happy Reading!