We begin our Slice of Life project in our class today! Just as we do here every Tuesday, our class will gather together every Friday to post a slice and enjoy the fruits of of our writing community – our encouragement, our compliments, our validations of the writerly life. So, I will begin with a minilesson on the art of writing a “Slice of Life,” and then walk my kids through the process of logging onto our blog, posting a slice, reading fellow slicer’s efforts and leaving comments to show the tracks of our thinking..and our appreciation for the work it takes to slice. The first post will be the following, mine, written to model the process and also to let my kids know how I feel about (at last!) knowing each of their names:
It’s Friday afternoon, and everyone has left our building. I heard the last goodbyes fade into the warm September afternoon some time ago, and now everything is quiet and still. As I collect my papers and books, I notice that the nametags I had placed on desks for the first day of school are beginning to look rather faded and messy, some are just about falling off entirely – they are ready to go! I remember making these name tags the day before school began, when I filled them out not knowing who was who. Just names.
I remember thinking about each of those names and imagining what you would look like, what you would sound like and what you would be like here in room 202. I remember filling out three Carolines, two Johns, two Dylans, and a Katherine and a Catherine … and worrying about how I was going to keep track of you, and tell you apart! I remember thinking about who would work well together and if everyone would be able to see each other – this is really important to me, to the work we have to accomplish together this year. I hoped I had seated you well for that important first day of school.
But now we are three weeks into the year. Your name tags are not in good shape, but on Friday I realized that I didn’t need them anymore! I know each of you as you walk in: your smiles, the particular way you ask and answer questions, where you like to sit on the reading rug, and which comfy chair you especially like. I know that Matthew is Matthew and not Matt, that Elizabeth is Lizzie, and that the three Carolines are awesome but in entirely different ways. I know that Ben and Filip ask questions in threes and that John M. likes to know everything about homework ASAP. I also know that you know each others’ names by now, and that you make space for each other on the reading rug, and help each other find books, answers to questions and vocabulary words.
Slowly, I peel off those name tags and clean off your desks. Come Monday morning, you will know exactly where to sit, and who sits around you….and so will I.