Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: It’s All in the Response #SOL18
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Slice of Life: It’s All in the Response #SOL18


You killed me the other day.

I stop setting up.

It just really hit me hard.

I am struggling to figure out what she is referring to and what I did.  Was it an email? Something I said in a session.  I struggle to remember.

You know, having two teenagers myself, I just couldn’t get through that slice.  That was too close to home.

Now I realize she is talking about a blog post I wrote.  Relief washes over me.

I don’t know how you write for thirty-one days.  It must take so much time.  Why do you do it?


I did not struggle to figure out the answer to that question.  That is easy!

I do it for the community of Slice of Life writers.  I do it to keep up with those I slice with all year. I do it to meet new slicers in March. I do it to follow someone’s journey. I do it to support those who are struggling.  I do it to learn.  I do it to share someone’s pain.  I do it to share someone’s joy.  I do it to connect. I do it to remember I am part of something much bigger than myself.

For me, the intensity of the month is not the thirty-one blog posts.  The intensity is in the relationships developed throughout the month.  I truly feel as if I am having a dialogue with fellow slicers.  If I could read every slice every day I would do it.  Choosing which slices to read and knowing I have to choose is the most difficult part of the March challenge for me.

Thirty-one days of response to my writing and responding to others’ writing is all-consuming.  I am thinking, questioning, feeling, noticing, considering, learning, and reflecting for thirty-one days.  It does take so much time. It is overwhelming at times.  It is worth every minute to me.

How do we create this type of a community in our classrooms?  Do we give our students the same opportunity to give and receive response?  How can we use partnerships and small groups to create opportunities for our students to connect?  Does the sense of community in our classrooms motivate and inspire our students to write?  Do they read each other’s writing to notice craft and to learn new ways to write?  Do our students plan to copy each other?

If we know how important response and the community is to us as writers, how can we ensure we create this for our students?

Thank you, fellow slicers – you are why I do it!


Thank you to StaceyBetsyBethKathleenDebMelanieLisa and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and on Tuesdays throughout the year.




  • Avatar
    Erika Victor
    Posted at 10:35h, 16 March Reply

    I agree with all of your reasons for slicing. This line “Choosing which slices to read and knowing I have to choose is the most difficult part of the March challenge for me” is so hard for me! I wish I could spend more time reading and responding– there is so much goodness here. I try to do extra on the weekends and I know I am worried that I am missing some great mentors and stories I need to read! It is a full on month, but I keep coming back for more!

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    Beth Hopkins
    Posted at 10:37h, 16 March Reply

    This is my first year slicing and just the other day I said something similar to a fellow slicer – I am thinking, questioning, feeling, noticing, considering, learning, and reflecting for thirty-one days. It has also made me realize how important commenting and feedback is for my students. Though they are only 2nd graders, I need to find a way to give them more feedback and more opportunities for their peers to give feedback.

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    Amanda Potts
    Posted at 11:07h, 16 March Reply

    “The intensity is in the relationships developed throughout the month. I truly feel as if I am having a dialogue with fellow slicers. If I could read every slice every day I would do it. ” Yes! Like Beth, I am a first-time slicer. I am LOVING this. It’s hard, and my partner feels the amount of time I’m spending on it, but oh! I love it. I love the community – I only wish I could read more. And I am full of ideas. I thought publishing every day would deplete me, but instead I am full to the brim. We’re on break right now, but I cannot wait to go back to the classroom and start using all these new ideas.

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    Peg Bruno
    Posted at 11:13h, 16 March Reply

    I am a first time slicer and appreciate this post. I have been very quiet about my writing. I’m not quite sure why, but I think your post has led me to my next post and perhaps making my writing a bit ‘more’ public than my fellow slicers. But I appreciate this community so much in such a short time!

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    Lynne Dorfman
    Posted at 11:38h, 16 March Reply

    This is my third year, and even though I am trying to finish writing a book with Stacey and busy planning the next one, I am drawn in to this community of writers for all the reasons you gave us. I love visiting you, Elsie, Diane. Rosie, Shelly, Stacey, and Paula on a regular basis. And you are right – if I had the time, I would want to read all of them! There are so many new slicers this March. What a great community for writing, reading, and responding! Every day at our fingertips. As always, you link your post with classrooms filled with students. Creating a safe, caring community is key to every writer’s success!

  • Avatar
    Posted at 11:40h, 16 March Reply

    I joined the SOL community with this challenge, and I feel that sense of community as well. During this time, I too, am “….thinking, questioning, feeling, noticing, considering, learning, and reflecting for thirty-one days.” And I feel the community support. Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Posted at 11:46h, 16 March Reply

    There is something special about WANTING to read other people’s writing and WANTING others to read yours. It is a powerful thing. It’s about more than the writing, as you’ve come to see, it’s really about the community. Cultivating community takes a lot of work, but it’s possible — if we start early — in our classrooms.

    Delighted you’re part of this writing community!

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    Diane Esolen Dougherty
    Posted at 12:52h, 16 March Reply

    You are so right, Clare. It is all about community. If there is one thing I have learned from slicing it’s that hearing from fellow writers, both their posts and their responses, make the struggle worth while. My husband asks, “Why are you doing this?” Your post will enlighten him.

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    Kendra Limback
    Posted at 14:12h, 16 March Reply

    I love this reflection! I learn so much from this community, but that learning spikes in March! (I love spring break, so I can spend my time really reflecting on what is happening.) Thank you.

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    Elisabeth Ellington
    Posted at 14:50h, 16 March Reply

    This is why I participate too–the community. I do appreciate the challenge in my own writing and writing life. But I keep coming back because I love following someone else’s journey, listening, learning, reflecting, having wonderful ideas as a result of all I’m reading and writing, etc. This is a beautifully written post that captures so much that’s important to me about March slicing.

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    Posted at 20:16h, 16 March Reply

    Choosing which slices to read is the most difficult part of SOL for me too.. 289 slices in one day is an amazing amount and clearly impossible to read. We do what we can. No matter how many blogs we visit, each brings a new story and many emotions. A lot of inspiration arrives also.

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    Susan Kennedy
    Posted at 01:39h, 17 March Reply

    the regular reads and commenters are gold. Stacy taught me baby sign banana. But new friends, they are diamonds. Aline Nine taught me what a golden shovel is and I’ll never be the same again. Fran McVeigh solves a motivation problem. Darin and humbleswede crack me up. Jess is like an old friend and so is ebgriffin. Brian, how does he write like that? But you my friend, you brought me to the river and I drank it up. Two spaces all around.

  • Avatar
    Cathy M
    Posted at 15:55h, 17 March Reply

    I can so relate to this post. This year is going so much better than last did year for me. Something about knowing I’m going to write every day this year has me looking for the story in everything. It’s a kick I needed in my writing world. The comments from readers have really helped to keep me going. As you said, it’s the community that helps me to stay with the incredible commitment of writing for 31 days.

    You said, “Choosing which slices to read and knowing I have to choose is the most difficult part of the March challenge for me.” Preach! This is so hard for me. There are so many places I want to go to read posts. I even rush through my writing some days just to create more time for reading and commenting. I want to stay in touch with writers I know and see every day, with writers I have come to know in this event, with writers I have connected with across life’s journey, and still have time to meet new writers and learn from them as well. The struggle is real.

    Finally, you ask the most important question of all. How do we create this community in our classrooms, in our building, across our school systems? The answer to your questions is quite complex, though I am quite sure it begins by growing communities of teachers who write.

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