Causing Ripples, Bit by Bit


#sol18- March 1, 2018

Day 1

March 1st is finally here and somehow I do not feel quite ready. Four years ago I decided to jump in for the first time and I invited my third graders along with me- some sliced every day!

Fast forward to year 2 and 3 and it was more or less the same- I extended an invitation and some students were regulars, while others were dabblers.

This year I feel like I may have waited too long to really introduce the challenge, but today they all drafted a slice and many published. I know that later today a few more will be added (likely from last year’s students who have been excited about slicing again).

But one student had me thinking when he asked, “It’s your fourth year and you still haven’t run out of ideas?” as we scribbled down some “back up ideas” on our March calendar. That’s when I felt unprepared. Did I have ideas? Would I have ideas? Could I really do this all 31 days? Even knowing that we have a break beginning March 23 and wifi will be iffy? Why didn’t I draft some slices to hold in reserve?

Then I reflected on my purpose. My first year my purpose was to walk the talk. If I wanted my students to be writers I had to walk in their shoes and be a writer too. What I reaped was more benefits than I could have imagined-including some connections that have developed into real friendships and a much better sense of empathy for my third grade writers. As time has gone by that has remained my primary purpose, but I have added to my hopes. I hope to help the students enjoy the feel of a wider writing community and I hope to have friends join me on this quest too. This year (as in the past) I have shared with the teachers at school information about the challenge. Last year a few in my team had their classes join in too. This year teachers in two other grade levels are jumping in too (and one colleague/friend has also committed to slicing himself). I also have a friend (and former colleague) who is up for the challenge this year for the first time (it is great to know that I can encourage her even at a distance).

So, today, as I start this challenge, I realize I am ready- I am ready for the struggle, the feeling of panic, the “help, I need an idea”, the I’m GOING to do this, the I should have, the “we are all in it together” feeling of being a part of this community of writers. I am glad we are all here! We got this! #togetherwearebetter

9 thoughts on “Causing Ripples, Bit by Bit

  1. Thank you for the honest slice. I’ve been slicing pretty faithfully on the weekly challenge since summer. I wasn’t sure if I was ready either, until I remembered that I vowed to write daily back in September when school was starting. I reasoned that if I could swing it then when everything is so crazy, I certainly could carve out time now that the dust has settled! I hope to add the classroom challenge in the future. Happy slicing!

  2. Like you, I’m looking forward to break later this month & fretting about maintaining writing momentum along with wireless connectivity. We’ll figure it out, I trust, driven by a mix of purpose & panic 🙂

  3. Just like you, I feel unprepared, but ready to do it again. My class is still on winter break, but we will all write starting Mon. I’m starting today, ready or not.

  4. Love, “my purpose was to walk the talk.” Great to see how you’ve spread the challenge. Here’s to 30 more slices!

  5. Your community is growing. They’re lucky to have you rallying them. I’m sure they’ll be there to rally for you if needed. Something tells me you’ll have plenty of ideas to write about!

  6. Together we are better is a great mantra for all of us, Erika. Good for you promoting slicing with children and colleagues. I hope more teachers will join you but if they don’t then, your modeling might push them forward for next year.

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