Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Classroom Slice of Life Challenge

Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating this space to share our stories.  Read other slices or write your own and share here. 

March is quickly approaching, which means that the Slice of Life March Challenge is in the near future.  This will be my third time to participate, so I am feeling pretty comfortable in my ability to write every day.

Now it is time for me to get out of my comfort zone and jump into the Classroom Slice of Life Challenge.  For the first time, I have offered it to all of my students, knowing that only a few will probably accept the challenge.  But I have many questions.

I know Two Writing Teachers will be posting about this challenge soon, but I would love to chat with some of you who have previously done this with your students.

Please feel free to give me any advice or to answer any of my questions.

1.  I will use Kidblog and have students create their own blog.  Do they link up themselves or should I create a classroom link for me to link at TWT?

2.  I have decided to let them form groups of no more than four if they would like.  I think for my first time, I will have more success doing it this way.  Has anyone done this before, or do you only have individual students?

3.  We have not written any slices in class, although I have talked about my personal slices.  Do you think I still have enough time to teach this genre and to have them practice?  I will have to this outside of class time since it is volunteer only.

I am looking forward to sharing this part of my writing life with my students.  Thank you for any help and advice ahead of time!


  1. Yay for you Leigh Anne! I've done the classroom challenge a few times. You've asked some great questions too. I give my kids the choice between blogging or writing in a paper journal. Usually they do a little of both. I created a classroom link that I then linked to the TWT classroom challenge blog. That way it was easier for others to find the blogs. We haven't done anything with Slice of Life writing either...there's still plenty of time. Although, I do my best work under pressure, so I may not be the best person to ask. :) Seriously, in the past, I didn't do any prep work with the kids before the challenge. We just dove in. Let's connect our classes!

    1. Thanks Julie! I would love to connect our classes. That is how I "sold" it to them, sharing their writing with others kids across the world! I will let you know when I get things set up.

  2. Leigh Anne, these are great questions. You have to create a classroom blog and you will link each day, not them. You definitely have enough time to teach the genre! Providing some mentors for them will be a great first step. Not sure about the group blogging - might be interesting.

    Tara is actually posting a Classroom Slice of Life informational post tomorrow - so be sure to check TWT tomorrow. Also, we will be hosting a Twitter chat dedicated to the topic on February 16th. Join us and you can connect with other teachers who are doing the Classroom challenge as well as get some more of your questions answered!

  3. I agree with everyone above, LeighAnne. This is great, & for you to take the 'extra' time with kids outside of class is awesome. Another thing you may want to practice is commenting. And also many times bloggers add pictures. You may want to wait on that, but later they can. Because I took over that class last year it was my first opportunity to do this, and it was wonderful. Best wishes! If you need them, I think I still have a few Word docs that help with ideas & how-to's for slicing. Send me a message if you'd like them.

  4. Good luck! I know colleagues who have done this. I have not done it with a class. Can't wait to hear about your successes and challenges.

  5. Leigh Anne,
    Glad you are going for it. I have offered it to my kids. A few go for it. One of my challenges getting the posts up in a timely manner so they feel connected. Because of the time change I am always a day behind. I try to be okay with what we get. Happy they are getting their thoughts out to a bigger audience.

  6. I did it with my third graders last year and more than half completed it every day (they had to write outside of class, as it was optional). I shared all the info in class and we brainstormed possible topics (and kept an ongoing list). I shared some blogs and videos (mostly old TWT posts) that helped explain. (sqworl.com/p8hudl). Let's connect our students!