I’ve been so excited about slicing ever since I found out about it, and started Slicing on Tuesdays. Having my 6th graders Slice instead of my traditional weekly writing assignment seemed more authentic. It was for the most part… for awhile. Some of the slices were awesome, and others were “phoned in.” Students have gotten really great at writing comments to other slicers on our classroom blog. (We use kidblog.)
At first I tried to ignore the complaints (“Do we have a Slice due again??”) and the groans, because of how excited I am about slicing. But, then I realized something. I slice because I choose to, my students were slicing because it was an assignment. Duh.
I thought about what I like about blogging. I like that I get to write whatever I want. I like that I get to choose what link ups, challenges, etc. that I want to take part in. I like connecting with readers and other bloggers. So I decided to create choice with my students. I took ideas from blog link ups and challenges I have either done or have read and sound interesting. I made up some of my own as well. Slices are still an option on Tuesdays. Other options include poetry, book reviews, 25 word stories, opinions and celebrations. Students will choose one assignment a week to work on.
Today I showed them the new assignment. One of my students, who has complained before about the slicing, looked visibly relieved when we were done looking at the new assignment choices. “Wow!” he said as he closed his laptop. “This is cool. I can do this.” After the last bell rang and he was at his locker, I talked to him about what he had said and he nodded again. “Yea. It sounds fun.”
“Much better than before.” Another student chimed in.
“I know which one I’m doing first! 25 word stories!” said another.
Students nodded along as they said their goodbyes, and I nodded too. Another review lesson for this teacher: Choice!
I can’t wait to read their blog posts next week.