Slice of Life 31: Farewell Finale

 (During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .


Wow!  31 consecutive days of writing is coming ot an end . . . What do I say?  What am I thinking?  What will I do with my free time?

My process:  I set up a folder on my desk top where I saved pictures that I wanted to consider adding to blogs.  I created a word document and listed “Topics that I can blog about.”  I drafted some posts in Word and some directly in WordPress.  I did some “flash drafting.”  I watched “Be Inspired” and the Classroom SOLSC14 for writing tips/ideas.  My routine included drafting my posts the evening before needed and then the morning of posting, I  reviewed, revised and edited.

Some posts seemed to write themselves.  Those were on topics that I had already spent some time thinking about.  Newer topics meant that I nothing written ahead of time.  Those posts took longer to construct unless the topic had been the focus of conversation previously.  Days spent traveling meant that I planned ahead and wrote multiple posts in advance.


If you have been following this month, you may recall that I began March with a post about alphabet books and the fact that I like to collect them because they are so neat and tidy.  I also like to collect or organize my work.  Sometimes I organize by color, sometimes I organize by numbers, and sometimes I organize by charts.  So for this finale, I have assembled a table in order to review the “current data.” (Just a little OCD!)


Slice Title Content Format (*idea from TWT)
1 March Challenge:  Slice of Life Alphabet as an Organizer Narrative/ Info­
2 ABC’s of Reading Joys of Reading ABC poem
3 Home Defining Home Narr. Quotes and info
4 “Change of Plans” Waiting Narr. Quote and poem
5 Coming Home Celebration Narr. Pictures/poem
6 Bucket List List *poem / Info
7 Exhaustion A “To Do” list poem
8 Studying Student Writing Content – 3rd grade Ts Narrative
9 #EdCampIowa and “Can Do” Prep for Writing Talk Before Writing (Conversation Lines) Info
10 Embrace Change Quote & Dr. Seuss Picture and words= pt.
11 Challenges Typical responses to challenges Info
12 Tenacity Dad and turning point Narrative
13 From Challenges to Turning Points TCRWP and turning points *AGC, Info
14 Road Trip with Dad Moving Home from College Narrative (cum. Poem)C &C
15 Two Truths and a Lie Comparisons:  Dad and Me Reader interaction
16 The Truth and the Answers Comparisons:  Dad and Me Answers / Explan.
17 Family Family Narr. Acrostic poem
18 Support Systems Thanks (metaphor tree) Info
19 Hunger Games Books vs. Movies Info w/ poll
20 Changing Seasons Sports cycles poem
21 6:15 on Friday AM events *Poem
22 Saturday TCRWP and data (19) Info
23 How much reading is enough? Reflective questions Quotes
24 Maximizing Instructional Time Talk and small groups Twitter quotes
25 Are you in the pool? Writing your story Quotes/blogs
26 Try it, You WILL LIKE it! Memory (inner talk) Narrative/inner dialogue
27 Summers Memories *Poem
28 Revising or Editing CCSS.Anchor.W.5 Info
29 :: right now :: Status check Narr. *Verb list/poem
30 Thank You! Thanks Info
31 Farewell Finale Reflection on March Writing  Narr, Info


Trying to “label posts” for the final column was difficult.  Writing is not always just “one” form or format.  Multiple forms can be compiled very easily in a blog post format.  I had several goals with this challenge:

1. Write 31 posts                                                                       Done

2. Write some stories / narratives                             11 / 31

3. Write some poetry                                                              11 / 31

4.  Add pictures more frequently to my blog       11 / 31

5.  Continue to grow my own knowledge in writing  (tried something new * 5/31)

6. Continue to support teachers who teach reading/writing     8/3 1


Because I did not write any of my goals in a measurable, SMART format, my thoughts about whether I have “met” my goals is purely subjective.  I do believe that just like a story arc, I have moved to a different point as I end March with more frequent and more proficient writing –  a different place than where I began on March 1st.


Thanks again for being a part of my writing journey!

I would highly recommend that ALL “Slicers” consider having a twitter presence!  One more communication tool!



30 responses

  1. Allison Jackson | Reply

    I think you more than met your goals! I am so proud of you! And I learned so much from your “slices”!

    1. Thanks, Allison.
      I appreciated your RT’s of my blog posts!

      It was interesting that most days I was “so focused” on writing the “slice” that I did lose track of the whole forest. Always more to think about!

  2. WOW! I love that table. That’s such a cool way to look back on the month!! I’ve enjoyed reading your slices. Congratulations on achieving your goals!

    1. Michelle,
      I created the table late on day 29 as I was thinking about the month. It would have been more helpful to have it be part of my “planning” as I felt like I did a lot of going back to the earlier posts. (hindsight always seems so much clearer!)

      I’m a “table” maker from way back. I love boxes to fill in!


  3. I enjoyed reading about your writing plans and data. Way different from mine, which is always great. I learned a lot from your post. Thank you!

    My twitter accounts are @3rdandrosedale (for the blog I wrote on) and @rmteacher for my teaching materials and notes.


    1. Thanks, Richard!

      Meeting so many different people while “slicing” has been a major portion of the fun!

  4. I admire people who are so organized! With your data, you are really able to look back at your writing and see what you have done. Congratulations on reaching your goals and especially for slicing for all 31 days!

    1. Thanks, Jaana!
      Perspective is everything, because I do note it as a bit of OCD. It has also been fun to “meet slicers” this month!

  5. So glad you met your goals! Can I say I just love your table here and how you broke it down! I might have to look back at my month today and see how they all played out. Yours is a perfect farewell today. Happy bday to your daughter! My month started with my son is was no leap year fluke baby but a boy for the first of the month. Lovely sentiments.

    1. Thanks for your comments! It is so nice to “hear” what others like as our writing perspectives seem to vary! I do know that my “reading eye” is now even more specifically in tune with my “writing eye”!

  6. Fran, as I mentioned before to you, I loved your writing and thinking before the challenge. You have continued to be a favorite blog to read. I’m so glad you jumped in this year. You make me laugh referring to your OCD and creating the table. Great job and I hope you will visit on Tuesdays too.

    1. Thanks so much! I laugh at myself a lot! I call it the midwestern candor. “It is what it is,” and I refuse to use the — word; I prefer OCD! In groups it is often revered because everyone knows that we will get our task done!

      Your support has been invaluable! ❤

  7. Fran
    I do believe you have met your goals. The table of blog posts was a great eye opener as to what all you worked on. Celebrate!

    1. Thanks, Linda! It was a huge eyeopener for me as well. I always have to “see” my data and my “crossed out list on my “to do’s” was not specific enough!

      I may celebrate by slicing tomorrow!

  8. I think you’ve met your goals. This was my first year and my goal was simply to write for 31 days. I hand;t really considered setting real goals. Maybe next year I will.

    1. Adrienne,
      I know that writing for 31 days is a REAL goal! I don’t always have time to spend developing mentor texts to use with my teachers so this challenge “made” me take the time to write. I needed that extra push!
      Thanks for commenting!

  9. Reading your analysis and Kevin’s was interesting in terms of topics. You really branched out as a writer Fran – 22 narrative/poetry combined. That is huge. I seem to remember you saying something about not being as comfortable in those writing spaces. Seems you’ve overcome some of that! It’s also interesting how some of our writing in not neatly categorized. An interesting thought when we consider how we teach and student’s write.

    It has been great fun. Hopefully some of our Slicers will join in on twitter. And have you seen Chris Lehman’s poetry challenge? Sound fun? Wanna try?

    1. Julieanne,
      I saw the poetry piece last night. I am busy two of those Saturdays. It’s highly likely that I will participate when possible.

      I love Kevin’s slice of “slicing” data! So informative!

      And, yep, last summer on the new U o S in writing my narrative piece was grade 3. It was so humbling. But I also knew what to work on for the first time in my XX years of narrative writing! (Now I need to score another narrative and see where I am at.)

      Combining types of writing is interesting. There are many “purists” who do not like a “micro-story” in opinion or informational writing, but it can be SO powerful!

      Your support and comments have been greatly appreciated. You are #1 on my “Commenting List!” ❤ Thank YOU!

  10. Dear Fran,
    I read every single one of your slices and enjoyed them all. Some made me think and I grew as a teacher because of them, some were a confirmation of what I believe is important, some were touching or fun. Thank you for being so generous to share your life and wisdom with all your followers out there. You are a true writer!

    1. Thank you, Alex. Your comment means a lot to me as my confidence in my “writer self” ebbs and flows. Some days I HAVE to write because of the message; some days I struggle to write; and some days I just have fun with writing! ❤

  11. You have brought your analytical eye to the slicing process, Fran – and the data reveals…you are a wonderful writer with many a story to tell!! Bravo, Fran – and see you on Tuesdays!

    1. Thanks, Tara!
      Your support has been invaluable! So funny! I do have a slice started for tomorrow! ❤

  12. I think you more than met your goals. What a great way to organize your posts .I see I will have to go back and visit a few more.

    1. Thanks, Bev!

      Now I am thinking I will at least continue charting posts to make it easier to find a past topic. I think that will save some “brain power” from retrieval overload!

  13. Congratulations on a job well done! I agree with all the other commenters- you absolutely met your goals! I love the table also! I’ve enjoyed reading your slices this month. Hope you will keep slicing on Tuesdays.

    1. Thanks, Carol!
      I appreciated your comments! I did not do as well commenting. Today I made sure that I found some TOTALLY new posts!

  14. Wow! That chart is amazing! I wish I was half that organized. Fran, no matter how you “slice” those numbers, you met and surpassed your goal! Congratulations!

    1. Oh, Catherine!
      I am always charting something. I love the “‘slice’ the numbers. . . March felt very productive for Writing!
      THANKS! ❤

  15. […] daily participation in the March 2014 Slice of Life Story Challenge (My goals and my writing) […]

  16. […] where will my inspiration come from?  I’m beginning with rereading the posts in the chart from another slicing year..  Do I want to reconsider the formats?  What about the topics?  What […]

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