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. On March 1st, we’ll host the Ninth Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. In the weeks to come, we’ll provide you with information about prizes and the Fourth Annual 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. Or perhaps you’ve arrived at this post after reading Kathleen’s post, “Should Educators Be Writers?” that she published yesterday. Either way, I’m glad you’re here! Whether you’re nervous about going public with your writing or aren’t sure you have something to say, then I’m here to tell you that it will take
It takes time to get really comfortable putting yourself out there, but if you can do it, then you can be a Writer. If you tell yourself you will shut down the voices in your head telling you that 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. (Note the capitalization on the word Writer.)
In an effort to help you get started with Slicing, Beth created an infographic. 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, Beth, 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 – G, please email questions to Beth, beth [at] elizabethmoore.work.
- If your last name begins with the letters H – M, please e-mail questions to Betsy, betsymhubbard [at] gmail.com.
- If your last name begins with the letters N – S, please e-mail questions to Dana, danamurphy143 [at] gmail.com.
- If your last name begins with the letters T – 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 Tuesday, February 16th from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. EST. Most of us will be on-hand to answer your questions about the upcoming writing challenge. Just tweet using the hashtag #sol16.
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.
We’re in search of Seasoned Slicers to help us with the “Welcome Wagon.” If you can commit to commenting on several new Slicers’ blog posts every day in March, then please sign up to join the Welcome Wagonteam.
- You will out the participant data form, which will go live on February 21st.
- You comment ONLY ONCE on the daily call for Slice of Life stories (3/1 – 3/31/16).
- 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.
Please use the same email/username information on all of your March comments. You don’t need to have a WordPress blog to sign-up for a WordPress username. However, having a WordPress username makes it easier and faster to post your comments when you visit TWT.
We are using the same comment guidelines as last year. If you haven’t read them, please review them before you do the March challenge.
The individual challenge is for educators at any stage in their career. We realize some of you might have a child or a student who you’d like to invite to do the challenge alongside you. If this is the case, then we invite your children or individual students to participate in the Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge. As of this year, individuals under the age of 18 who are not part of a classroom community must have an adult sponsor to participate. As an adult sponsor, you will be the person who leaves the link to your child’s or student’s blog post, on their behalf, on the daily call for Classroom Slice of Life stories. Tara will discuss this change in further detail on Wednesday, January 27th in her Classroom Challenge overview post. Should you have questions about this new policy, please contact Beth, Betsy, Dana, or me (based on the letter of your last name, as specified above).
We’d be honored if you display the Slice of Life Story Challenge logo Betsy created in 2013 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 standardized 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.
I am a literacy consultant who focuses on writing workshop. I've been working with K-6 teachers and students since 2009. Prior to that, I was a fourth and fifth-grade teacher in New York City and Rhode Island.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).
I live in Central Pennsylvania with my husband and children. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, doing Pilates, cooking, baking, making ice cream, and reading novels.