March 13, 2015
It has been an amazing (almost) two weeks of slicing! As I have said before, I was only “trying” this challenge because I had mentioned it to my third graders months ago, so I felt semi-obligated to give it a whirl. We had never sliced as a class before- some of us had experimented earlier, but many had not. With March starting on a Sunday on the third day of a 3-day weekend, I felt like I was taking a leap of faith when I asked the on Thursday who planned to join. Well, here we are almost two weeks later and today 17 of the 19 students sliced. Keep in mind this is optional for my students. The numbers vary from day to day, but at least 10 are regulars.
It has been so fun to hear students talk throughout the days about comments they have received, slices they have read written by others far away, and how often they have sliced. It has been happening more and more often that when we are in the middle of something a students will say, “This could be my slice for the day!”. Students notice that sometimes they are involved in something else when an idea comes to them. We have a new agreement that we can always scurry away to quickly write an idea down we do not want to forget.
Today we were reading a particularly important section of The One and Only Ivan and the students were blogging their responses, many chose to use that for their daily slice because it felt so meaningful to them. In their comments on each others posts, they frequently remark that the writer has inspired them. I have told them as a group and individually that they are continually inspiring me. Being a part of a writing community on The Two Writing Teachers blog has been wonderful and I appreciate all the learning and growing I am doing as a writer (and teacher), but developing our writing support group inside our classroom has also been pretty special. The writers are all improving and they are learning much about themselves and each other. I know we are only at the midpoint and there will more highs and lows, but today I am thankful for the double dipping I am getting to do as part of two writing communities.