Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Slice of Life Tuesday: A Very Writerly Party #sol17

My room was packed. Some faces familiar. Some were not. All were united by the simple fact that every single one of them was a writer.

My colleague, Liz, and I had forty kids undertake the Slice of Life Challenge with us this year. Some were 31 Slicers who wrote every single day in March. Some were 17 Slicers, who wrote every school day.  Numbers aside, we all were celebrating the cultivation of a writing habit--no small feat.

In our opinion, no Slice of Life Party would be complete without some literal slices, so we went with a sweet slice (a suitably springy sheet cake from Costco, adorned with yellow, purple and pink flowers) and a savory slice (Papa John's pizza). As the writers munched, they searched through their plethora of written slices, searching for one to share.

One by one, the edible slices disappeared. Their absence was replaced with something equally delicious: good writing. The room filled with the pitch-perfect adjectives, humorous one-liners and emotional topics of the various voices in the room. Each writer was unique, each piece like a fingerprint that left its own individual mark on me. I listened with a huge grin on my face. I couldn't help it; moments like these are why I do what I do.

Our time together was all too short. We gathered together for a quick picture, and then, the writers were off, spiraling away like balloons released into the air. Their words lingered though. They hovered over the room like a fine mist, shimmering with their beauty and power.

I hope that, tomorrow, I will be able to look past the hectic testing schedules and frenetic pace of a middle school in April and see the shadow of those words. I hope I will remember the quiet power of writers bravely sharing their words.


  1. Katie, you will remember these brave writers and their words shimmering over the room with beauty and power. It's been several years since I had a group who sliced and I still remember our celebrations! There's nothing as powerful as writers sharing their hearts.

  2. We are doing our Slice of Life celebration next Friday. I love the idea of cake as a slice. We have pizza, drawing prizes, and awards. I can't wait to celebrate with them.

  3. Katie, you are a beautiful writer. The image of the balloons being released, yet lingering stayed with me. I love that you bought them cake and pizza "slices" and celebrated their hard work. This, they will remember. Well done!

  4. "No small feat" -- indeed. Thanks for sharing how you and your writers marked the occasion.

  5. What a fantastic celebration for your students and your colleague's students! Hooray for the kids doing so much writing!

  6. What a great idea for a celebration, Katie! I didn't have all of my students slice this year, but the more I think about it, I think I should have made this an expectation. Then, we could have celebrated whatever writing each student did - not about amount, but about growth. Thanks for sharing this!