Some people have eyes that find stories. They see things.
Much of the time, I operate in plot mode. What-happens-next thinking. That mindset gets me from place to place, but I miss things.
That’s why writing is necessary. To see the stories and understand. To reflect, grow and perhaps instigate some self-improvement.
For my students, writing is in its infant stages. Until this year, writing has existed mostly in structured units of study instruction. That’s a gift. Writers need guiding. But to live a writer’s life or even come close to it, a writer needs to practice. And I don’t mean independent work time after the mini lesson. I mean independent writing practice. Time and space to germinate. If we don’t allow some time for this in our classrooms, how will students write when there isn’t a mini lesson that precedes it?
I want students to know they can and should write when they leave the classroom. That writing is a part of life. That writing isn’t just for a teacher.
To promote this, the first fifteen minutes of every class period, all students may choose to read or write. This month, some brave students have taken up the SOL classroom challenge. Just like those of us who slice, their experiences vary day to day.
T was reading Vanissa’s post aloud during lunch on Wednesday. You may know Vanissa from Margaret Simon’s classroom. When she finished, she said, “Wow, she’s a good writer.”
Thursday M looked up and said, “Stories are getting harder to find.” I smile and nod. She goes back to writing, knowing her time is limited.
Fifteen minutes isn’t enough time for N. He finishes up at recess. I have to kick him out a few minutes before the bell, so we get a bathroom break.
J discovered the clever posts of Kaiden. “Look I figured it out, he writes in invisible ink.”
B looks up from his computer on Friday and says, “Hey there’s someone named Elsie, who commented on my post. Cool.”
Friday, D tells me to look for her posts over the weekend.
These six writers represent some of the students who have opened themselves up to the world to tell their stories. In each post, I see a little more of them. Just like I see of my fellow slicers. Some of these students are the ones you’d predict to go for this opportunity. They are the writers. The ones who rise to a challenge. But some are not who you’d expect. For a few students, blogging has been the one place they feel they shine.
This week I celebrate my student writers. Their growth and enthusiasm. If you want a taste of their slices, check here.
This week I celebrate the Slice of Life Classroom Challenge, the other classrooms who are slicing, and the wonderful adults who have commented on my students’ posts.
This week I celebrate the Slice of Life Challenge. A place that promotes writing forcing one to find story, meaning and reason in life. Thank you, Two Writing Teachers and all those who contribute to the slicing experience. Read more slices here.
This week I celebrate writing. Thank you, Ruth, for your weekly call to celebrate the week. Find more celebrations here.