Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March 3rd, Slice of Life: "A Writing Community Formed"

My slice today is more a compilation of lots of observations I've made over the last week or so as we've started the SOL journey in my pod (a nickname for a group of 100 sixth graders that share the same 4 teachers at our Middle School). Slice of Life changed how I saw life last year, and I watched it change the lives of many of the students and teachers who chose to write with me. We formed our own little group; we were the "slicers" out of our Pod, the ones that went the extra mile. It was special. It was valuable. It reminded me daily of why I do what I do.

But, this year...this year something new has happened, and I can honestly say I've never experienced it as a teacher or student.

We have over 3/4 of our pod slicing, along with 4 teachers and our interpreter. In addition, our principal, our art teacher, our literacy coach, the Junior High librarian, a high school teacher and her class, as well as 3 other classes in our school and their teachers are blogging everyday. In the midst of our separate lives, schedules, classes, and schools, we've become something more.

We've become a community. A writing community...

We talk about what we're going to blog next.

We encourage each other to keep going.

We laugh and smile over comments and compliments.

We tease each over about funny stories and get teary over the sad ones.

But most importantly, we write.


One of my fellow teachers next door is participating for the first time in Slice of Life this year. She was in my room just as the kids started writing the other day on their first slices. It was silent in the room except for the sound of concentration and computer keyboard click-clacks. She looked at me, a surprised expression on her face.

"What?" I asked, thinking something was wrong.

"I just didn't know that writing had a sound," she said after a thoughtful pause. "But it does. That's it."

"I know," I whispered back. "It's amazing, isn't it?"

She nodded. We shared the joy that comes from hearing students pour out their hearts and lives into written stories.

And so, through the sounds of keyboards, laughter, encouragement, and writing, we have formed this phenomenal group that I've come to love after just 3 days.

A real writing community. Our writing community.

Beautiful, isn't it?


  1. Yay! I am so glad to be part of this challenge! I love writing and creating an authentic audience makes it all worthwhile! Great post!

  2. This is such an amazing thing you have started not just with your students, but with a lot of people within the district! Little did I know that I would be using this with my students this year for their bell-work. I love what you have started here in WC!

  3. I am so glad you are experiencing such positive results. It's so empowering for students to publish their writing, and to have a reason to talk about it amongst themselves. And to have so many adult models, too. Happy dance!

  4. O - I love the comment - I didn't know writing had a sound! so great! Keep on writing!

  5. As I said earlier tonight, I love how, in just TWO DAYS, students have gone from the "I have nothing to do/I'm bored" attitude to asking, "I'm done with all my work, may I please work on my blog?". Our students, staff, and district have become not just a writing community, but an ENTHUSIASTIC writing community, and I am proud to be taking part!

  6. I knew last year your passion and commitment to this experience would infect the rest of the district. We have an outbreak on our hands. Here's hoping we reach pandemic levels next year.

  7. My students are blogging for the first ever too and I just love that "sound" that you described. It's so exciting to witness. :)

  8. Love that sound of writing too - miss hearing it this year since I retired. So happy that you've infected so many with the slicing bug!

  9. This entire concept was so foreign to me last year, and honestly, I had no idea what to expect when I signed on this year. But as someone who is "not a writer," I have to say that I'm truly in love with this whole thing! Not only I am constantly thinking about what to write next, I'm also having conversations with students on completely new levels based on their own posts! It's too much fun! Thank you for "infecting" us all!

  10. I am happy to be joining the adventure again this year! It is amazing to see so many of our students and teachers across our school and district sharing their writing. I love the experience and the commitment that so many have made by accepting this challenge. Thanks for inspiring us all!

  11. I should have mentioned above that I would never have started Slice of Life without inspiration and encouragement from Mrs. Williams last year! Her support has made it happen! What a great group we have...I was reminded of that again as I read your comments. I look forward to seeing where next year takes us, too! So very exciting!!