2017 is the tenth year of the Slice of Life Story Challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers, but it is my first time participating. The goal is to write and post a "slice of life" story every day during the month of March. (I will still be posting book reviews but a little less frequently.)
Slice of Life: Classroom Slicing!
... it's ALIVE! Today I officially launched my version of the Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge. During the month of March, my seventh graders will be writing 10 different SOL posts - one for each of our double-periods of language arts left this month. (Our Kidblog posts are here. You have to have a Kidblog account and ask to "follow" us before you can see and comment on posts.)
We recently finished reading and analyzing The House on Mango Street, so talking about vignettes was an easy way to get started thinking about what constitutes a "slice of life." There are so many different types of vignettes in the book too, which helped to broaden our discussion about what they could do.
And then I let them go. I'd shared the "31 ideas" image, as well as two mentor posts: mine about 10 facts about me as a reader and Elisabeth's about going in the boys' bathroom. (Who can resist a title like that?)
I would love to say "and then the room lapsed into a silence broken only by the sound of keyboards furiously clicking and clacking away," but a more accurate description would be something along the lines of "then the classroom filled with the wild mutterings of 'what do I write about?' and endless questions about technicalities, alongside the furious clicking and clacking of individual students.
The first few posts started trickling in for me to approve and make visible to the rest of the class: the ice cream truck, day one: gameface (a meditation on which video game to play first), the futility of cheers during basketball games, stalking another student's car in traffic on the drive in to school, and more.
Launching with the second class went a bit smoother, because our page was already filling with mentor posts from the earlier group. The same few questions, "Does it have to be true?" or "Can we write about other people?" popped up but then everyone (mostly) got down to work.
Poems about walks and water
Meditations on teacher punishment systems and their unreliability
A reflection on a recent story for Spanish class and the inability to express the same depth as in English
Ten sort-of secrets (including my new-favorite dialog exchange between a Hamilton-obsessed student and her mother: Mom: What are we getting at Costco? Me: Buns. And chips. And so the balance shifts. Mom: WHY?)
And that's just day one. I can't wait to see how the rest of the month develops!
Are you a teacher with a slicing class that wants to connect? Our Kidblog posts are here, but you have to have a Kidblog account and ask to "follow" us before you can see and comment on posts.
(Click here to read my previous Slice of Life Challenge posts.)