When I decided to include my first grade class in the Classroom Slice of Life Challenge, I was really nervous about it. Since I had never done it before myself, I really didn't know what to expect from the experience. Therefore, it was difficult for me to know what to tell my students to expect from it.
I introduced the challenge to them last Friday at the very end of the day. Admittedly, it was poor planning on my part. I really only decided that I was going to participate while they were at Art, so by the time they got back and I started talking about it, it was almost time to go home. I really didn't do it justice. I gave them a basic outline of how it works and the expectations for participation then sent them home for the weekend.
Since the first day of the challenge was on Saturday, I wasn't expecting much. I was thrilled with the one student I had that wrote a post on his Kidblog on Saturday and Sunday. By the end of the weekend, I had resigned myself to the fact that this was going to be a failed experiment and I'd be better prepared next time. To my surprise, I had an additional eight students who had actually written posts in their Writer's Notebooks to be added to their blogs on Monday.
One of the components that we, myself and my two other participating first grade colleagues, Cathy Mere and Deb Frazier, decided to add to our classroom challenge was lunch once a week with the student writers. We decided we would meet with our classes during their lunch to talk about our writing and the challenge. Today was the first lunch meeting and I had 13 writers join me. We talked about our thoughts on the challenge so far and what has been the biggest challenge for them. I think of all the writing activities I have done with my students so far this year, and I have to say that this has been the most rewarding for me. To hear my kiddos talk like writers was amazing! They spoke of how challenging it was to come up with an idea to write about. How unsure they were that their writing would be something that someone else would want to read. Most of all, how excited they were to keep writing. L said, "I'm going to write every day for the rest of my life!" If only I could put into words how amazing this was to hear from this little friend.
I can't wait to see what the rest of the challenge brings.