10 Mar Slice of Life: It’s All About the Process
We need to empty the car so you need to play with Ryan.
I don’t know. He is in his bouncy chair. Why don’t you read to him?
Can you open the cabinet?
I want to get a book.
I put down the suitcase to open the cabinet for him.
Can I use this book?
Sure. Sure. Any book is fine.
I reply without even glancing in his direction.
We finished emptying the car, started the laundry and even began to do some yard work.
Where are the boys? Chris asked.
They are playing. I asked Jack to play with Ryan.
It has been really quiet.
Come to think of it, it has been really quiet… for a really long time.
We make our way inside to find them. We hear Ryan shrieking with laughter and Jack making all kinds of noises. We turn the corner to see Ryan covered from head to toe with stickers! Playing and reading may have been confused a bit but, to this day, we cannot return home from a vacation without retelling the story of the stickers!
I love sharing this story with students. It is not about a fancy trip or a glorious win. It is just a moment I remember. I often use the photograph I have to show writers how a picture can be used to find a writing territory. I also show how this territory is related to a strong feeling – laughter. Writers often use pictures and strong feelings to find stories that are important to them. As teachers, it is important that we write not just to have a product to model with, but also to experience the process and share our process with our students. Slice of Life is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the process of our writing. Fran‘s “Peak in to Process” this month has inspired me to think about and document how each slice “came to be” for me this March. I look forward to sharing the story of my writing and how it came to be with students.
How did I find the topic?
What structures did I consider?
Why did I settle on this structure?
What was my purpose?
What was I really trying to say?
Did I have a mentor text?
Did I try any craft moves?
What feeling did I want my reader to end with?
How do I edit?
What did I learn from the response I received?
When we experience the process we can truly explain and model how we write. It is the thinking behind our writing that gives our lessons the depth and specificity our writers need.
Thank you to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, Beth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for us to share our stories each day in March. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts and consider joining this community.