I was just informed that March is SOL challenge month. It’s a cruel, cruel world. We have to make SOL every single day. I don’t know if I will survive this deadly month. Okay, that was a little ( lot ) over the top of the ice cream cone. Yeah, that was a metaphor.
That’s kind of like saying over the mountain but in your mind picture a mountain sized ice cream cone with a ton of chocolate going right on the top and turning it into a chocolate avalanche. Did you do that? Good for you. Now I will grant you as many wishes as you want. NOT!! I am not a genie. But if I had one wish it would be not doing any Slice of Life challenge posts ever again. That is how bad I don’t want to do the Slice of Life challenge.
by Andrew, Feb. 21, 2017
“Andrew, the Slice of Life Challenge is voluntary. Are you saying you don’t want to try it this year? Should I make you a sticker chart?”
“I’m not making any promises. Yeah, go ahead, make me a chart.”
I teach my gifted students year to year throughout their elementary schooling. This is a blessing and a curse. I am blessed to know my students really well. I don’t have to pretest to find their reading levels. I don’t have to do writing prompts to see how well they write. I know all this. They also know that when March rolls around it’s torture time. Time to write a Slice of Life every day!
Every year I try something new to motivate my students. Last year it was these buttons designed by Stacey Shubitz of the Two Writing Teachers. My students proudly collected badges until about March 15th when the newness wore off.
I also use incentives. One day of the month I hold a commenting challenge. The reward, one Skittle a comment. I soon ran out of Skittles. I buy a book for each child who completes the challenge. I usually buy 3-5 books.
Another thing we’ve done is connected with other classes doing the challenge. I’d like to do that again this year. If your class is using Kidblogs, please request to follow by signing in to Kidblog and posting my URL, http://kidblog.org/class/mrs-simons-sea/. Click on the Follow button. Once I approve, I can follow you back. It’s fun and motivating to connect kids across the globe.
After seeing Holly Mueller’s students’ long slices, I implemented a word count rule. This has been both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is found when my students elaborate and expand their thoughts like you see in Andrew’s post above. The curse happens when they ramble on and type things like, “I’m up to 198 words, just 2 more to go!”
This is the nature of the beast that is SOLC! Blessings and curses! We are going to jump in despite the deep waters. Tomorrow we return from a break. Our challenge will begin. I wonder where this journey will take us.
I wrote a blog post for Kidblogs about the Slice of Life Classroom Challenge here.
If you wrote a DigiLit post, please link up with this button.