On the first day of this "Slice of Life" Writing Challenge, I saw that there was a classroom challenge as well. Though I was too late to enroll my fifth grade students in the challenge “officially,” I decided to still pose the writing challenge to them anyway. I was so excited about the challenge myself, so I figured that I would go ahead and invite my students to write along with me. I was both a little worried and very excited about how many students might decide to join. On Monday afternoon, I explained the challenge to the students. I reinforced with them that they could write about anything they wanted. Many students seemed excited about this. I talked with them about writing stamina, and how writing every single day will help develop that sense of stamina, just as it does for us in our reading workshop every day with independent reading.
A few parents have e-mailed me about this already, expressing appreciation for the writing challenge to be extended to their children. Some students came into my classroom yesterday, excited to share with me about what they had written. I love their fresh enthusiasm for this project. I think in part, I showed them how excited I was for the project, so in turn, they became excited. They know that I am committed to the project every single day, so it’s fun to see them get on board and commit to writing something every day.
Twenty out of my twenty-six students have signed up with me to do this writing challenge. I am thrilled. I know it’s possible that a few students will drop out of the challenge during the month, but I’m excited for their enthusiasm.
It’s a great honor to have students who recognize the value in writing for pleasure, and who want to take a commitment to that next level. As a side note, it probably helps that I’m doing a "donuts and juice celebration" at the end of the month for all of my "Challenge" writers, during which we’ll share our entries, talk about the writing process, and about how things went for them during the month. But, hopefully, most of my students joined the challenge for the pure joy of writing, and not just for the donuts!