Slicing with Students

Slicing with my students this month has been an eye opener.
They have a lot of stories to tell and they need a lot of support telling them.

We often run out of time in class for students to complete their slices and they rarely finish them at home. I do a lot of revising and editing in the evenings so that I can publish their slices before the end of the day.

As I read my students slices, I am taking notes as to the mini lessons I plan to teach in small groups or whole class.

Next year, I think that it might be a good idea for my students to start slicing on Google Docs a week or so before the challenge starts. I think about how I write a blog post and most of the time I don’t write directly on my blog, except during the March SOL Challenge; it’s faster to write directly on my blog during March.

Today my students’ slices were better than on other days when their final pieces seemed to have been written on the run. I think what helped them is that I shared an example of a slice from a sixth grader from the March Slice of Life classroom challenge page. We talked about what the writer did well and how they might do the same thing in their writing. We talked about writing long, elaborating on their ideas and showing not telling by using vivid words and describing what is happening so that the reader can picture the story in his or her head.

I also shared the list of ideas for writing slices that was posted on the Two Writing Teachers site that included writing about school subjects, games, and what happened in the past. This seemed to help some students who were having trouble coming up with writing topics. Tomorrow we will take some ideas from this list and start a running chart of writing ideas for the rest of the challenge. In retrospect, I may have been too rigid in my expectations for acceptable topics when I first rolled out the challenge.  Knowing that they are not limited to what happened on that day makes it easier for my students to find writing ideas. Tomorrow I will share another slice by another student. Hopefully, this will spark more interest in writing long and elaborating on ideas.

Visit my classroom blog,, and leave some comments for my students. They will be thrilled to get them.

Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers March Slice of Life Challenge, Day #16.

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