The Slice of Life Story Challenge began on Two Writing Teachers in March 2008. The mission of this online challenge was to support teachers who wanted to write daily. The purpose was to create a community of teacher-writers who could better support the students they serve in writing workshops daily. Teachers were invited to write a slice of life story on their blog and then share the link to their story on this blog’s call for slice of life stories. Then, each person who left a link to their blog visited at least three other people’s blogs to comment on their slice of life writing.
Not much has changed since 2008 when 12 educators participated. Through the years, more teachers have joined the ranks of what we call “Slicers.” Teachers invited colleagues. Friends invited friends. Daughters invited mothers and vice versa.
Some Slicers have hosted classroom challenges for their students. In 2013, an online classroom challenge was added. This year we’ll host the Third Annual Classroom Challenge. (Click here for more information on starting a classroom challenge with your students.) We realize some teachers might be hesitant about taking on this writing challenge with the PARCC testing coming up. However, as Tara recently mentioned to me, those of you who use video clips or poems to jump start slice of life writing might find this kind of writing practice useful in preparation for the PARCC.
Next month we’ll host the Eighth Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. In the weeks to come, we’ll provide you with information about the support team, prizes, and the second Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge. For now, here’s some basic information to get you energized for our March writing challenge.
NEW TO SLICING? Read this: If you are tinkering with the idea of jumping into this writing challenge, but you’re unsure of whether or not it’s for you, then I hope you’ll join our writing community. Maybe youe are nervous about going public with your writing. Perhaps you don’t think you’re a good writer. If you tell yourself it will take time to get really comfortable putting words into a blog post, then you can be a Writer. If you tell yourself you will shut down the voices in your head that tell you you’re not talented enough, then you can be a Writer. If you tell yourself you can positively impact the lives of your students by writing regularly, then you can be a Writer. It takes time and practice, but everyone can become a great Writer.
In an effort to help you get started with Slicing, I created an infographic with my meager design skills. It contains basic information to help you get ready for the March Challenge. If you have questions after you read it over, please contact me, Betsy, or Dana since we’re the co-authors who are hosting the individual challenge this year.
If your last name begins with the letters A – I, please e-mail questions to Betsy, betsymhubbard [at] gmail.com.
If your last name begins with the letters J – R, please e-mail questions to Dana, dmurph08 [at] sbcglobal.net.
If your last name begins with the letters S – Z, please e-mail questions to Stacey, stacey [at] staceyshubitz.com.
Please use a permalink (aka: unique URL) when you link your posts. To find this link, click on the title of your blog post. The permalink will appear in your browser. Copy that entire link so you can paste it into your comment when you leave a link to your slice of life story at TWT.
An example of a permalink:
A non-example of a permalink:
Leaving a new permalink every day will provide readers with a perpetual link to each of your blog posts. In addition, if you write and link your slice daily in March, you’ll be in the running for a prize. Your permalink serves as proof that you wrote daily.
Please join us for a Twitter Chat on Monday, February 16th from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. EST. The six of us will be on-hand to answer your questions about the upcoming writing challenge. Just tweet using the hashtag #sol15.
RETURNING SLICER? Read here: If you’ve already participated in one of the previous March challenges, we hope you’ll return this year. Consider inviting a friend, family member, or colleague to participate. Remember: the person doesn’t have to teach writing workshop to be part of this challenge. The primary purpose of the Challenge is to foster a community of teachers who are Writers. That said, we’re open to people from all subject areas and in all stages of life (e.g., working, retired) participating in the SOLSC.
FOR EVERYONE: After careful consideration, we’ve decided not to have a Giveaway Guru track prizes. Prizes will be given away at the conclusion of the month-long Slice of Life Story Challenge. You’ll be eligible for a prize if:
You will out the participant data form, which will go live on February 23rd.
You comment ONLY ONCE on the daily call for Slice of Life stories (3/1 – 3/31/15).
You sign a Slice of Life Story Challenge Participation Pledge on April 1st. (We’ll post the pledge and will ask you to “sign” by leaving a comment certifying that you wrote and linked daily, as well as commented on at least three other Slicers’ writing daily.)
Bottom Line: We are using the honor system.
The six of us worked together to create some comment guidelines, which I posted earlier. If you haven’t read it, please review it before you do the March challenge.
We love the Slice of Life Story Challenge logo Betsy created last year, so we’re keeping it! We’d be honored if you display it on your slice of life blog posts. If you’d like to download the button, right-click on it and select “save as.”
Finally, we know PARCC testing is on the horizon for many of your students. We hope the timing of this test will not deter you from participating in this writing challenge. Furthermore, it’s our hope you’ll be able to find solace in this writing community during what can be a rather stressful time.
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.