Wednesday, March 11, 2015

SOLC #12 of 31

Day Twelve of the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.            Tweet at #SOL15
                Thanks to Tara, Dana, Anna, Betsy, Beth and Stacey for keeping on!

            Today it's all poetry, and the connection to the Slice of Life Challenge
           Also, I'm happy to be a guest poet at Michelle H. Barnes blog, Today's Little Ditty today. I've written a poem for Margarita Engle's poetry challenge that Michelle shared at the beginning of the month HERE. Michelle is hosting a different poet nearly every month who shares a poetry book, newly published, some of the poems within, and a poetic challenge for writing. It's been a pleasure to try to write a poem per the guidelines. I don't always find the right words, but often enough I do. 

         I've begun a poetry group at school and we have not gone very far, too many changes in schedules have happened, like the big Advanced School play opens tonight and about half my class are either on stage or part of the crew. That means rehearsals every evening and all day last Saturday, and some late afternoons last week. The homework must be less. So, poetry. I've been reading some to all students all through my time with them. Those in the group are asked to explore, reading some or all of the many poetry books in the classroom or at home, looking for what they like, deciding what they don't. It's a process for me, nudging middle school students into the joy of poetry. Since every student is slicing every day, and I'm also pushing them to take some risks, add pictures, start in different ways, etc., more are writing poems. Some are straight from the heart, some have been written from the structure of poems they like, some are rearranging prose lines, but they are, without our workshop, writing poetry. We'll meet again next week, and I'll share a suggestion/mentor poem and a structure, then let them go. They bring poems to share by other poets, and bring one they've written. It works for me, to just let them write.
        This is my fifth year doing the SOLC, but the first time I've had the chance to write with a class. I am so excited to see how much by now, just 11 days done, students are growing in their skills, with a nudge here and there, a compliment and comment. Their editing skills are improving. Their writing is filling up with possibilities. One just can't beat writing every day.

26 comments:

  1. Five years! Wow. It's amazing all of your students are slicing. What a great experience for them. And you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far, only 3 have missed one time. They're doing great. Yep, five years - amazing!

      Delete
  2. Your quote sums up why I do this too - you just can't beat writing every day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is pure pleasure to read what they're doing, Anita.

      Delete
  3. I am so glad you are slicing with your students this year. You are a great support and role model and I am sure your students benefit from you guiding them through this wonderful experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much. It is becoming quite a wonderful writing community.

      Delete
  4. Yes, daily writing does lead to poetry. Someone should warn everybody. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! doesn't it make you wonder if everyone dropped some of the work and just wrote?

      Delete
  5. Slice of Life makes me wish that I had a class--I would definitely get them to do it. As it is, I have Larkin. I'm working on another daughter or two for next year...your reflections about the power of writing every day are spot on, Linda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Melanie. I've told others about your family writing. I feel lucky to have had the chance to do this!

      Delete
  6. Writing every day really does work. The exercise/practice leads to better and better writing. Until they start petering out of ideas. I'm afraid next week with testing we will experience a big drop in posts. I look forward to hearing more about your poetry group.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so busy, Margaret. Grabbing the time to meet even once a week can be challenging. I'm determined next week, because Thurs. & Fri. are conferences-students not at school! We talk as often as we can about topics. So far, most have found a way . . .

      Delete
  7. You can't beat writing everyday. I have about 1/2 of my first graders participating. We've been using a hybrid of blogging and free writing during our morning literacy block. Their stories are coming out soon, I have to figure out how to do that and protect some privacy. But they are doing some great writing. I am looking forward to what you are doing with poetry. Good luck with the scheduling!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I can't wait to hear more about doing this with first graders! They must be so excited!

      Delete
  8. So much varied writing created in your class. Yesterday a fourth grade teacher shared some poems they had been writing in class. I could see how my students from last year had grown as poets. I love celebrating student growth, close home and far, anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely to see, and to hear from you, Terje. I think my class, almost all, love the challenge & the drama people are working so hard to write & do the play, too. I'm proud of them!

      Delete
  9. Your poetry work sounds fantastic but I'm torn about the time issues for play preparations. That's my old passion. Sadly we can't do it all at the same time. But they are building up treasures to capture with you after the play experience, when they need time to mine their memories.
    DigitalBonnie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Bonnie, am only sharing what's happening, not griping at all. Our drama experiences are favorites of many of the students. They're still slicing and blogging. I just thought it would be good to cancel the other writing groups to give them time for other word they also need to do. Indeed, many will write about the play for sure!

      Delete
  10. Five years for me, too, Linda - and my kids slice all year. Such a wonderful experience!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder what they'll say at the end?

      Delete
  11. Linda, your background knowledge on slicing is hitting home with me. I turned to you for advice and you provided it. That is what community is about. I left a comment at Michelle's blog about your post.

    I am wondering since your students are slicing and writing poetry would one or two like to be featured on Winter Whisperings?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the offer, Carol. I will certainly ask them. It's been quite a week, & now I'm off to see the play. Will keep this in mind!

      Delete
  12. How wonderful to have a poetry group with your students. Hooray for writing every day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Catherine. The students are loving it, & I am too.

      Delete
  13. I love what you do. Sometimes I worry about the "push" with my own gifted students. How do you decide when enough is enough? We just had students in a production of Grease! at school and I have students in sports and orchestra and AP classes and ... for some the list is quite long. It's challenging to communicate across all of those communities and to encourage (yet support) kids when they need it. I think you are a master at it and as always, I look forward to hearing more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree totally, Lee Ann. They want to do everything, so sometimes I think letting them 'be' in class helps them relax & open up to more interesting learning. There is not one answer for everyone, unfortunately, so I watch & wait, & then the student(s) & I decide together.

      Delete

Having a conversation is a good thing!