My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

March 2, 2012

Generating Ideas - SOLC #2

Join the 2012 Slice of Life Challenge 
When my four 5th grade students walked in the door March 1st, I presented them with an empty March calendar and a plea, "I signed up for the Slice of Life writing challenge.  I need your help!"

When my students heard the word writing, I think I saw two of them cringe.  Then they started asking questions.   I explained that my fellow reading teacher had talked me into writing every day, for 31 days

“Oh yeah,” said student A, “she LOVES to write.” Then she walked over to the white board, wrote Signup, and wrote her name underneath.  “Who else wants to sign up to write every day?”

Wow.  I think A already knows she’s a writer, and she’s definitely one who will enjoy the challenge! Wait!  Did she just volunteer to write every day? Wow.

For the rest of our 40 minutes together, the three girls worked on filling out their own writing calendars.  K started jotting ideas.  C filled in nearly every day (except for spring break; she’s leaving that open).  A wrote an idea in each box.  J gave lots of ideas, but he didn’t fill out a calendar.  He was more interested in giving me an idea for each and every day of March.

Here’s my completed idea calendar.  I’m considering writing about the ideas they gave me on the random days I noted them.

Our conversation turned to writing, then notebooks.  I showed them my empty Moleskine notebook that I picked at the store years ago to write in.  They decided that they would like little blue notebooks, too.

Perhaps I have four more writers participating in the Slice of Life Challenge with me!


  1. That's great -- turning to your students for ideas, and generating ideas for the days ahead. Great sharing!

  2. How funny that J just wanted to give you ideas! I love having ideas tucked in the back of my mind or notebook, but sometimes the real "slice" of life, happening in the moment, takes over the writing. I'm sure you'll find out you'll go back and forth between the calendar and a moment that you want to capture.