March has been different this year. I tried the Slice of Life Challenge. What a challenge it was! Coming up with ideas, finding (ok, taking) time, writing, reading, commenting, checking and re-checking for comments. Typing captchas over and over, trying to get comments posted was the peskiest part (My apologies to many on blogspot-I gave up on commenting sometimes there. I tried, I really did, sometimes typing as many as 5 before giving up because it kept asking me over and over to prove I wasn’t a robot- didn’t it know a robot wouldn’t have such trouble?!?!?) Days when there were no comments or only one made it a bit harder to keep going…and I am a grown-up! It gave me pause to think how hard that is for our students when they don’t get feedback right away, and I resolve to concentrate on that with my writers. The comments for me just strengthened the intrinsic motivation of writing, but my young writers do not all recognize that inner satisfaction yet. I discovered days when I couldn’t think of much to write about, and days when I know the writing wasn’t very good, but writing every day was valuable. The “off” days built strength, polished skills, and kept ideas brewing for the “good” days. Good to know first hand for sharing with my students.
I would try to say what was best about the challenge, but I doubt I could say just one thing, so I will give a mention to as many as come to mind. I loved reading every day! Inspiring, funny, true-the writing shared by everyone added to my days. I discovered new ideas to try and learned, really learned new things. Sometimes the string of comments following the writing was as captivating as the writing- true conversation among people miles apart in distance and so different in life experience. Fascinating! I enjoyed the student writers who were slicing, and I plan to take some time to see how to get it started with my students. (Any of you who had student slicers, please send ideas about how you set it up-I would like to get some kids writing on computers…I think they would find that to be fun and motivating)
It was challenging and time consuming to write every day but so rewarding- in the feelings it produced and to see the written product, too. So, I think if I did have to say what was the best part of the challenge, I do know what it is. It’s the writing!