Browsing through Instagram, I came across a post from one person that led to another. I usually read interesting posts but rarely comment.
This time, the post led me to another. To my amazement it was a challenge, one that I found very inviting, especially at this time of my school year (when my to-do list never diminishes).
A May challenge that asks for one bit of information a day. I found the right title for it, A little piece of me. I thought so, as by the end of the month I would have thought deeply about myself and experienced daily mindfulness at the same time.
I’m glad the post allows us to take a screen shot and answer the questions on our own or with friends. So here’s today’s ‘ask’ below.
I’ll wait till the end of the month to contemplate on all my answers.
During the March slice of life challenge, I collected many words from slicers, words I have never used in my writing. I vowed to use them frequently and today I have been able to dot some of them around, here in my poem about silence.
My weekly visits to R’s garden reveal many new surprises. It really is fascinating the way plants change as they grow. New additions are brought in weekly, so no part of the garden ever stays the same.
My annual March Slice of life, daily writing is no different. I am amazed by what I learn, the different structures of writing, new vocabulary, the variety of feedback I receive and learn from. Like the rich soil the plants in garden receive, I have been exposed to many creative ways of writing. I have been enlightened and this is helping me develop my writing in many ways.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank Stacey and the co-authors at the Two Writing Teachers for the opportunity to slice daily in March, with other educators. I’m growing as a writer and my goal every year is to carry on writing with my various writing groups. My goal is also to ‘just write’ and to try and pop in to slice on Tuesdays. I appreciate this community, for nurturing and providing me with the sunshine required for my writing growth.
I appreciate how well you’ve been working on your essays. I know it has not been straightforward but I can see you are all working very hard to achieve a persuasive claim.
Tomorrow, you will be working on your body paragraphs, and as you have already decided on the reasons to support your thesis statement, all you have to do is to select the evidence and examples that help expand and explain your reasons.
Our next lesson will help you select the appropriate evidence, we will also share transitional phrases that will help you truly convince your reader.
Do let me know if you need help at anytime during the next lesson. There will also be student samples and our selected mentor text available to guide you.
See you during the lesson tomorrow, come prepared to do your best writing.
Yesterday’s slice was my thoughts about my lesson. Today I felt the need to write to my fifth grade writers.
I’ve been sitting here contemplating on what to write for my slice today.
I started a slice about my revision lesson during writing workshop and gave it up as I did not think there was much to report. When I started typing I realised I could share about the uneasiness of my students, as they had to read and revise the first draft of the claim for their persuasive essays. They wanted to carry on writing the next paragraphs of their their draft.
I asked them to spend the first few minutes reading their claim aloud to themselves to determine whether their hook, background information and thesis statement were convincing enough. Had they added reasons to expand their statement?
As I read through their first paragraph, I had questions for them. Had they thought about their audience? Who were they trying to persuade? Conferring with individuals and small groups, I drew their attention to some changes and addition to make and they had the checklist to refer to.
At the end of the lesson, I was really moved by the claims most of the students had coined. I made them aware that they had worked really hard and the work they had done was to help them understand the importance of revision.
At some point during the lesson, I questioned myself as a teacher. Was my initial mini-lesson last week, explicit enough? This is a reflection that is still churning in my head.
I went to watch a local play with friends last night.
This morning, I retold the whole storyline, with its themes and controversies to my sister. The play had several messages, linked to current affairs, the playwright, director always delivers with less than ten actors, also uses snippets of global incidents to connect with the general public. What he does well with in his shows is the application of lyrics from different songs, both local and foreign, to reiterate his message, during the play. The invisible, youthful band plays the selected song at the appropriate time, with the actor dancing and singing perfectly.
The power of using popular music charges the atmosphere and powers the whole theatre. The audience break into song (helping the actor relay the message) whilst jigging in their seats. I guess this is an opportunity or an unlabelled interlude for the audience to soak up the message, at the same time attaching the meaning of the lyrics to the part of the storyline. It is the playwright’s style of delivery and it works so well. He knows the audience will respond.
So the audience is pulled in by the powerful song, humor and the direct links with the part of the story. This actually draws them into the story, the interactive nature of the show reminds me of the call and response in pantomimes.
I have also got to mention the pre-play, show. When the invisible, youthful band play their version of the modern rhythmic Afro beats. This charges the theatre, sets the scene, as the audience walk in to the near perfect beats.
Thanks so much Leigh Anne, for the invitation to this year’s slicer writing retreat. This will be my very first writing retreat. I have been craving one since I started writing seriously. My first slicer party and my first ever writing retreat.
And now here we are, “in a cabin tucked away in a world of lush green fields surrounded by beautiful flowers blooming under blue skies and perfect temperatures.” I will be travelling to this location. I will plan this journey, flights and all. I’m glad the weather will be warm, so I will not need to find extra warm clothes.
I will bring:
Writing tools – Different colored of sharpie pens, many pencils and my sharpener. The tiny sharpener I travel will with everywhere, lodged in my cross-body bag. I am a pencil lady and read with a pencil in hand, that’s why I like to buy most of my books, as I annotate whilst reading. My steno note books are coming with me, that is where I brainstorm and think. I will bring a few as I am hoping to organise my thoughts and be productive. I have a couple of books I have that I will tuck into my bag, they are; 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing and Doodling for Writers. They were all recommended by my writing friends from Teachwrite. My Laptop will be with me for looking up synonyms, some research and publishing any pieces, but writing with paper and pen will be my first choice.
Food/beverage – I guess as I write best through the night, so a jar of my Douwe Egberts coffee will have to be tucked in there somewhere. It’s sure to keep me up for the times I write best. As I am used to my local snacks I will bring a few packets of plantain chips, for my midnight feasts, whilst writing.
Quote – “Life is such a gentle, treasured thing. I learn about it every minute. I think about it so deeply,” by Bessie Head, a writer I have discovered recently. This resonates with me so much, especially post -Covid and looking at the world around us. As we write, we are are learning and thinking about life and our lives now.
Thanks Leigh Anne for this opportunity to write with a focus. I’m glad I am getting to meet many writers for the first time! Maybe one day there will be a ‘real writing retreat,’ somewhere warm.