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Just before we left for our Thanksgiving break, a fellow teacher I’d been trying to persuade to join our Slice of Life community emailed me to say that she’d finally got her blog up and was really excited about writing a slice of life every Tuesday.  It was going to be her New Year’s resolution.   And then, even as I was busy typing up a response, she emailed me again: could I please explain exactly what a slice of life was?  She was confused.

So, for my friend, and for all of those who are contemplating starting the New Year slicing with our Tuesday writing community, here are a few pointers:

What it is:

  • a narrative about a small segment of one’s day

  • a short well written narrative that captures a small moment in time

  • it could be based on something that happened to you, or something you observed

  • it can be based around a series of thematically connected photographs that tell a story (check out Elsie’s post – she is a master at this!)

  • or it can be a poem that tells a story (Betsy and Kim often gift us with these on Tuesdays )

What it is not:

  • a book review (Check out Jen Vincent’s Teach Mentor Texts on Monday – this is a fabulous place to read and share book reviews)

  • a poem you love, without the narrative to explain why (join the poetry folk every Poetry Friday for this round up – so much fun!)

  • a list or advice or a lesson plan/ project idea

  • a summation of a conference or workshop ( Stacey’s wonderful recap of NCTE is a great example of a non- Slice of Life post)

Writing my Tuesday Slice of Life has become the cornerstone of my writing life – it is sometimes (depending on how busy the week is) my only chance to practice doing what I ask my students to do.  I can experiment, try new writing moves, and flex my writing muscles – and our writing community, always so generous in their responses, is quick to let me know which lines and scenes resonated, which structure and word choice was most effective.

So, join us! Be a part of our Tuesdays! Come live the writing life on Tuesdays, right here at Two Writing Teachers.  Now, it is time to write your Slice, share your link, and give some comments to (at least three) other slicers.  If you’re leaving your comment early in the day, please consider returning this evening or tomorrow to read some of our evening posters’ slices.


“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible”
― Vladimir Nabokov


slice of life

Tara Smith View All

I teach Writing Workshop, Language Arts and Social Studies to sixth graders at a middle school in suburban New Jersey. This blog is my attempt to capture all the "stuff" that goes into my teaching life - the planning, the dreaming, the reading, the preparing, the hoping and (above all) the kids.
Please note that the content of this blog is my own. It does not reflect the opinions of my employer.

86 thoughts on “WRITE, SHARE, GIVE: SOLS TIME Leave a comment

  1. Tara,
    That was one of the hardest things for me when I joined Slice of Life — understanding what it meant. What I’ve learned is that it is small, often quite ordinary, snippets from everyone’s lives often written humorously, eloquently, and/or interestingly. Most of all, I’ve realized that what often matters most are those small moments.

    Of course, I’m also thankful for this community which is always so supportive (even when I’m struggling to stay consistent with posting). I learn so much as I travel from post to post.

    Thanks for the explanation and the place to gather/share,


  2. I appreciate the definition of the Tuesday Slice, by what it is and what it isn’t. My own blogging has wandered around and gone astray. I’d like to get back to the Tuesday habit and write more.


  3. Aaah, I’ve missed too many weeks! I have so missed you all!

    Tara, I’m excited to share your excellent definition of a slice with my students! Although I wrote a list today… glad I’m not the only one! Sometimes it’s all I can muster, or all I can wrap my head around… or an attempt to make up for weeks of missed slices! 😛

    Borrowing an idea that Michelle had last year to think about gratitude in a new way:


  4. Um, I feel like maybe I have been not following the guidelines, but maybe it’s just how I am interpreting your graphic organizer.

    Sometimes a list is of seed ideas for future writing because that’s all I can do on a given Tuesday.

    Sometimes I write about a book or a strategy–it’s like a review. However, it really is the story of how trying a new strategy from a book was empowering, freeing, amazing, etc.

    Am I doing what is not?

    Or am I reading too much into your graphic organizer and fact I am, what it is?


  5. This is a GREAT succinct definition, and I love the “is not” list, which actually made me feel very guilty of not being good at following directions! Oops! No more lists. Got it. I will try…. 🙂


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