Do you slice? I had never heard of “slicing” until a few years ago. I stumbled upon the Two Writing Teachers blog one day while I was looking for ideas to teach my students how to write. I stumbled upon it, and these two lovely ladies (and all the wonderful other “slicers”) changed my life forever.
I knew there had to “more” and a better way to teach my kids to write than the way I had been taught. I knew there had to be a way to “teach” to “show” my kids how to love writing as much as I do. It began the summer I read Debbie Miller’s Teaching With Intention, and flowered from there. From Debbie I found Katie Wood Ray and all her wonderful writing tips and ideas, and from Katie I found Jennifer Jacobs, Ralf Fletcher, and Don Graves. It was from researching these people and the National Writing Project that I found Ruth, Stacey, and the amazing family of “Slicers” that they have enveloped through their blog and their weekly and yearly challenge.
I have to admit I spent the first year just reading and admiring from a far. I was a little intimidated by the wonderful writing, tips, intelligence, and passion of Ruth and Stacy. Oh but I wanted to belong. I wanted to SLICE. Finally at the end of the summer I jumped in with both hands and all my heart. I created FirstGrade and Fence Posts (my first love) just so I could SLICE. And I did once or twice. But I still felt a bit mediocre, a lesser version of my idols and the other lovely slicers.
Then came March of 2011, and the yearly “Slice Of Life Story Challenge.” I had changed my method of teaching writing. I had found other amazing blogs. I had been writing almost every day. Most importantly I remembered my favorite teachers/authors favorite words “are you up for the challenge?” If I could ask my kids this and expect it, then I should expect it from myself.
I joined. I wrote. I sliced. I shared. I learned. I experienced. I made friends. I laughed. I cried. I changed. And I grew, as a person, as a writer, as a blogger. I was hooked and I was in love with writing once again, and the wonderful world of blogging. All because of the challenge of two writing teachers, and of course Debbie Miller.
It is extraordinary how life flows in circles and one tiny action can lead to the most amazing things in your life. I found Ruth and Stacey from reading Teaching With Intention by Debbie Miller, and it was through my slicing, Stacy, and Ruth that I found Debbie Miller and Katie Wood Ray. Ruth posted about a workshop she would be presenting at which also included Miller and Ray plus a list of other AMAZING authors. It was three states away. I begged my husband, my school and my daughter for permission to spend our vacation at this workshop. My school said yes and paid for it. My hubby and sweet girl said yes and occupied themselves while I was watching my idols. It was THE most amazing workshop I have EVER attended. You can read my reflections here.
My only regret was, because I was by myself I was too shy to introduce myself to these wonderful people. BUT I am hoping to go back this year, with my bestestteaching buddy. And from my first blog I found other bloggers such as TeachingBlog Addict, The First Grade Parade, The Inspired Apple, Deanna Jump and other wonderful “teaching” blogs which spurred this blog into conception.
Sorry for such a long post but I hope you will consider visiting the Two WritingTeachers and join in their challenge to take a moment and carve out a slice of your life on paper (virtual or real). And become part of the wonderful family of slicers in the month of March (or sooner)!!!
From now on, on Tuesday’s you will see this button on my blog and know that what is written is just a little ol’ slice of this teacher, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, blogger, slicer.