Slice of Life Tuesday: Oh, how they’ve grown! Sharing a student slice

Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers

As we come to the end of the school year, I can’t help but look at every writing piece, discussion point or reading journal response with this perspective: how far has this student come? what can I see as real evidence of growth in this school year?  In an interesting turn of events, our Slice of Life writing has become a real gauge of my students’ progress as writers this year.  This on-the-go writing really shows me how comfortable my kids have become in their writing lives, and how they have been able to take our writing workshop lessons and stretch them across our genre studies and into their every day writing – which is what our once a week Slice of Life sharing has become.
Last week, I read Christine’s slice in amazement.  I scrolled back to her first slices and compared the writer she had been early in the year to what she is able to do today.  She is able to experiment and enjoy the process of writing so much more in May than she was able to in September.  All year long, her slices have grown in expressiveness; all year long, the positive responses to her writing left as comments by her classmates have encouraged her to continue to write and try new techniques in her writing.  Our classroom Slice of Life community, just like the one we share here on Tuesdays thanks to Stacey and Ruth, has truly helped Christine blossom as a writer.  We have just four more slices to go…and this one makes me actually wish that the school year went longer!
Christine : The bright yellow school bus stood out in the gray day, and it seemed like it was almost about to rain. The bus slowed down to a stop and we all piled off  the bus and onto the Leonia track. This was my third track meet, but it was only my second time racing Leonia. The first time the team and I raced Leonia was when we were at Hawthorne High School, and we were racing against two other towns. As I finished my warm-up lap of jogging around the track, I knew my events were going to be first because at all the other track meets the 60 meter and 100 meter races for the girls are always first.
60 meters!” yelled the official in the bright yellow jacket which matched the school bus.
I lined up at the one of three lanes Glen Rock was using for the
60 meter race. My heart started beating loudly and I was anticipating the moment. I knew I had already felt this feeling before, so I got ready and aimed for the finish line.
“On your marks,” the official yelled,  “get set, BOOM!” The gun went off. My heart skipped a beat, but my legs didn’t. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me and I came in second place for my heat. I  had started to walk back to the starting line, to line up for the
100 meter race when my friend Jean came over.
“Guys,” she said, “the
1,600 meteris racing now.” Everyone racing the 100 meter was confused, even Leonia was confused. Who has a long-distance race right after a sprinting race?
The order of the events was really messed up and I kept on feeling the nerve-wracking anticipation of  the moment. This was my first time racing the
100 meter and I didn’t know what it would be like. The only way of finding out how easy or hard the race was, was to race in it…. which I couldn’t do at the moment.  The suspense was building up and I started to get even more nervous.  Would I do terribly?  Would I slip and fall when it started? These questions sneaked their way into my head, and stayed there. 
” You’ve done this before,” said the little voice inside my head, “it’s practically the 60 meter race, except longer.” The suspense suddenly faded away, and before I knew it the boom of the gun filled my ears.  Before I knew it, I  had finished in third place for my heat!
Even though the order of the events was different from last time, and the suspense had been so hard to handle, I realized that I was scared about nothing, after all. I didn’t even realize I was running the hundred meters until I had actually finished the race! The questions and doubts that had sneaked their way into my head had made me nervous. But then those questions, like the noise of the gun, had disappeared.

Rachel : I love your slice and the suspense that you described and built up for the reader. I especially like your ending because you compared the the questions to the noise of the gun. Great job Christine!
Madalyn : This was a great slice Christine! You added a lot of thoughts and feelings and you had a good ending that wrapped up the piece. Nice job!

Mrs. Smith: So many great “writing things” about your slice, Christine! I loved the opening line – so descriptive, contrasting the color of the bus and the grey day; I also loved the last line, which is just awesome writing!


8 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: Oh, how they’ve grown! Sharing a student slice

  1. Very nicely worded and thoughtful post. I'm impressed with the maturity in this piece and her voice! Ah, the end of year yearning for more time when you see, not the need to reach a goal, but to actually enjoy the fruits of your labor!

  2. I always love to hear about your students' work, Tara. This is just great, to see what you've discussed in an actual example! You are right. This students has written in a strong voice, with attention to details, feelings, good entry & conclusion. The comments are good & specific too! Thanks!

  3. Thank you for sharing this excellent student work. Years ago, when my students' writing was all by hand and kept in a portfolio, it was always so good to look through just as you have done and see the progress in their work. I am sure that this digital portfolio, complete with comments from others, makes the students even more able to see their own growth as well.

  4. I can see why you are sorry not to be reading many more of these! Christine really takes you along with her at the meet. She did a great job mixing external dialogue with her internal thoughts.

  5. How lovely! This is a wonderful example of all the things I'm sure you worked on through the year. I love how she blends in the dialogue. You can really hear her voice shine through.

  6. Your student has amazing descriptions-colorful contrasts, sounds, and feelings that add so much to her story. I also like how you shared what the other students added in their comments. They will probably always remember this year of slicing with you…this is powerful work! Thanks for sharing!

  7. That is an amazing piece of student writing! I love the journey she take the reader on. I hope you had a great day and now you are sitting back with something cool and wet to revive you. Happy Tuesday!

  8. I tried leaving a comment yesterday and it froze. But I never give up. I love your student work…I can see this as a video. Have you given that any thought?Bonnie

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