Darn it you will write

sols_6Today – March 4th is the beging of my classroom Slice of Life writing challenge and challenge it will be.  My students struggle with most things and with every change that comes their way.    We had a three day weekend due to Friday conferences and you would think we were coming back from summer vacation.   All sense of school seemed to have floated out of their heads and bodies.

I had told them about our writing challenge and talked about students across the United States all writing for the month of March.  I did everything “right” but there we were entering the classroom from art class, writing notebooks out and the fight begins.  I will not grace you with their street language for this task.  It would be censored quickly I am sure.   I tried again my motivation of a book grab mid way through the month and writing journals for those who write every day this month.  It was not helpful.

I ended up frustrated and just said – “WE ARE WRITING – begin NOW.   We will write for 20 minutes. It is our Slice of Life writing we do this every week.  Today is a open write.”

The class groaned, moaned and tried sharping pencils.   They know that is a no go during writing but a few had to try.   Ten minutes into the writing I am about to give up but realize that only 3 or 4 of my 27 students in the room were not writing.  I hang in there for a few more minutes writing in my own notebook and sure enough everyone is writing.  The room has fallen silent as I look up from my notebook.   Every pencil is moving, words are finding their way on to the page.

I don’t quite get this group – if I get mad they follow through.  In fact a few were upset when I ask them to finish up and bring their notebooks to the circle.

It will be interesting to see where this month long writing adventure will take us.  I am sure we will have many ups and downs along the way.  Our writing is not the best but we have words on paper.  I will take it for day one.

I am not proud of my statement but Darn it we will write this month!

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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3 Responses to Darn it you will write

  1. Cathy says:

    Sometimes it is hard to get started with our writing. Actually, I felt a little bit that way myself tonight. I know I needed to write, but I just couldn’t get myself going. Then once the fingers hit the keyboard, slowly at first, a rhythm begins to find its way into my fingertips. As you said, a silence sort of falls into the room as attention turns toward the words. I’m wondering what your students wrote during that time. I’m guessing there were some interesting words, some phrases that catch the reader’s eye, or perhaps some power in message. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

    Cathy

  2. Wilcox Carol says:

    I think “Darn it, we will write!” is perfectly appropriate at times.Thanks for being stubborn and persevering. I’ll bet the further you go into the month, the easier it will get for kids to sit down and get their pencils moving! Keep up the great work!

  3. Your post encouraged me to persevere with my class and writing everyday in the month of March.

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