Thursday, March 6, 2014

March 6th Slice--"A Full Heart Speaks..."

**Written last night, after posting my student blog...

Tonight as I copied and pasted my students' work into our student slice blog, I silently read along.

My heart is so full right now of so many emotions that I find myself unable to write about anything but the amazing effort of my students. Writing is such a personal act, and it reveals so much of the character of the author--this time my 6th grade Communication Arts students.

As I read my own student authors, I see them more clearly than ever. I feel like we are on a 31-day, get-to-know-you adventure together. As we peel back the layers of superficial, "school" writing, the true natures of my 6th graders are revealed. Themes develop like kindness, friendship, perseverance, hard work, fun, optimism, joy...the list grows each day.

And then there is the effect they have on me...their hopes, their dreams, their uplifting words become MY inspiration. I am brought to tears as I read about their failures, successes, and heartbreaks. I am challenged by their risks. I know it's starting to get hard at this point (Mostly because it's starting to get hard for me, too!), and yet they stay committed.

I love that I see their words evolving; they are finding their writing voices. I like seeing them comment to each other; not the comments they might have left each other a week ago, but the thoughtful, deep compliments that real writers give to one other. As their confidence grows, I feel more and more sure that Slice of Life was meant to happen this year with this group of kids. Thank goodness, I get to be part of it.

I confess. I never expected this much of an impact. On me. On them. On others. The chain effect continues, and I love it.

I think March might be my new favorite month.


8 comments:

  1. I am so grateful to you for sharing this. I really wanted to do the class slice challenge this year, but knew that I wasn't ready to do it. I am hoping to start next year. I was especially glad to hear that you copy and paste their entries into a blog. I have been trying to figure out how to allow them all permission to post directly onto a blog and it is not easy with 5th graders. I look forward to going back now and reading your class postings!

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    1. Thank you for visiting our student pages...copy and pasting was the only way I could figure out to do it this year, although I am absorbing and learning from others this year, too. I think the student blog idea is wonderful, and maybe that will be the route I experiment with next year. Copy and pasting from a google form takes time, but it is working. That's enough for me right now! :)

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  2. I wish we would have had The Slice of Life when I was teaching. What a fantastic opportunity for your students...and you, too. Not only is it a challenge...but it teaches so much...how to stick to it....how to bounce back even if we slip...how to appreciate others' writings...how to express their inner thoughts. I am sure the rest of the month will be full of adventure for you and your students...and I love that March just might be your favorite month. Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

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  3. I know what you mean. I feel like I know the kids better too, even the ones I don't have in class. It is delightful, entertaining and eye-opening to read their blogs.

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  4. I agree. I am loving reading my students' slices each day. I'm so impressed with how much they have already grown in their writing skills in only six days--well, some of them have anyway. The ones who are still struggling have 24 more chances. I started a graffiti chart in my classroom for them to put up suggestions throughout the day for things to slice about. I'm thrilled when I look over there and there are kids jotting down ideas. Slicing makes you fall in love with them (the kids) even more.

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    1. A graffiti chart sounds like a fabulous idea! Thanks for sharing. I am hoping to really put some time into helping them generate ideas this next week.

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  5. Wow! It sounds like you and your class are developing a true writing community. My students aren't doing the slice of life this month, but they do write on blogs. I have been humbled by some of their writings.

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    1. Kay, what blog site do you use with your students? Thinking of going that route next year, but not sure about it...

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