#SOL16: March Challenge Day 8 – ABC’s of Me

And one more pattern writing to round out my first week of the March Challenge.  This pattern is old YET my most favorite of all, inspired by Ana’s slice at Life . . . One Thought at a Time. You can read the original here.

abcs of me.JPG



I had planned to write a  “Fortunately/Unfortunately” post that was on my list for the month to finish off my week of patterns.  Started but fizzled.  Went to yesterday’s slices to see what topics were repeated, intriguing, etc. where I found Ana’s slice.  An ABC format was often a teaching technique that I used at the end of content units.  I was ready to list out my ABC’s and get started.  I wrote my draft in my “running” March slicer document so format was an issue.  Word automatically capitalized every letter of the alphabet as I listed them down.  It was a major decision – Do I use a hyphen and repeat the letter?  Do I write it more like an acrostic and go ahead and use the letter as a part of the word?  I tried three letters each way before I made my decision – hyphens; yes!  And then I began randomly  writing phrases and words.  Frantic typing to record ideas.  And then I ran out. L, O, P, Q, V, X, and Z were left.  Stuck – how do I get unstuck?  I created the colorful alphabet border for the top and bottom.  Still “working” but not “writing” . . . back to brainstorming.  Listing random words for those final letters.  Back to Ana’s post, fearful that I had “stolen” her words that may have lingered in my brain. Double checking my spelling of my X words – real or made up? Copy, paste, tag, and preview. Lost my color and format did not hold. #!$@ (“rats“) Used my “snipping tool” to make a picture of the ABC part (OS-“screenshot”). Inserted picture. Finis. (ARGHHH – 2+ hours)


What would your “ABC’s of Me” look like?

Did you discover the secret to my letters and their descriptions? (What was the plan not shared in my process?  Hint: H and K are the exceptions.)


Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  It’s the March Slice of Life Challenge so be ready to read DAILY posts!

32 responses

  1. Another clever way to motivate writers with some structure. LOOOOOve it!

    1. I have used this often and used “groups of letters with students – you three have A, B, C to summarize our learning! Love the idea of searching for new words! 🙂

      1. sallydonnelly11

        Love this idea for giving a group of kids some letters and then collectively we have a summary- my 3rd graders will love doing this!!

      2. Sally,
        Your 3td graders will love it! My 4th graders used it a lot! You can even collect them via Linda Hoyt’s alpha-boxes!

        OR as a prewrite – collect the words that might relate to our unit/topic – so it’s a student-driven list!!! ❤

  2. I love that you not only shared the final result but also the process. It’s so easy to look at someone else’s post and think that it came out effortlessly. So many new ideas to try!

    1. Cindy,
      Quite honestly, this has been my lengthiest – drafting/revising/writing post so far! I’m still not happy with the way the “picture” of the ABC’s look but I had to quit! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Frannie, I love this format and am a collector of A,B,C books – I shamefully have over fifty. I really love the way you explain your process to your reader. This is truly an “inside look” and I’ve been fascinated to read about it. I am thinking of doing this with some of the classes I am visiting – explaining their process and perhaps, evaluating it as well. (I loved your line about being a rule breaker and a rule follower!).

    1. Lynne,
      You did some really “close reading” of my writing – “Frannie” and “rule breaker” and “rule follower” – THANK YOU!

      The metacognitive part of writing stumps many of our students. They think it “just pours out” for adults. NOT so! ❤

      (And I have more than 50!)

  4. sallydonnelly11 | Reply

    2 hours is a very small amount of time compared to this piece now being available electronically for a very long time!! I’m grateful for your words and explanation of process!!

    1. Sally,
      Thanks for putting the math in perspective for me. From my side I was almost ready for “Are we done?”

  5. Thank you for sharing this with us today Fran (and Ana)! I wrote the idea down in my writer’s notebook to use later! I learned so much about you AND I even looked up what a kolache is! It reminds me of the traditional cookie we bake/eat at Passover – The Hamentashen but round instead of in the shape of a triangle! Looks delicious!

    1. Thanks, Dana!
      Some Czechs make “cottage cheese” kolaches but we vote for prune or poppyseed!

      Fun way to continue to SEARCH out more words! ❤

  6. I’m glad you shared the way your were able to post your ABC’s. As I looked at it, I couldn’t quite figure how it was done. I fight the formatting issue at times. So snipping tool to the rescue. I will have to remember that. I believe I have discovered what you didn’t share. At least in K the sound was there. 🙂 Great way to share about yourself.

    1. Sometimes the OLD WordPress was easier for formatting. I struggle with single spacing so often use Word but then WordPress just jumbles it up!

      Close (only one word in those two letters – rest were all multiples)

  7. X and Z were my favorites – they made me smile and think. So YOU, Fran!

    1. Tara,
      I often skip ahead in ABC books to see exactly what they do for Q, U, X and Z. They often tell a powerful story!

  8. E, L and Q are my favorites! Once again – your creativity amazes me. I am close with a poem…

    1. Clare,
      All the world is a draft (not a stage) and we can reimagine that draft multiple times. Re-vision (to me) is not about perfect but continuing to shape my thoughts, my actions, and my formats! Can’t wait to see your poem. . . your initial few lines the other day were so promising! Free form writing is liberating!!!

  9. What everyone else said. And what I love most is that you have named the ABCs of you that fits just right. Each one is so you. Imagine it as a tool for future slices!

    1. Thanks, Julieanne!
      I’m already thinking about “My Top Ten Letters” just to keep it manageable! ❤

  10. Thank you for always sharing your process – it makes your slices real learning experiences. Love the format, and you even got the dreaded “X” with two words!

    1. You are welcome, Rose.

      I am really having fun (and sometimes scaring myself in the process) with sharing all this information! ❤

  11. Love your process – and the info about you. I used this a lot while teaching as well. Great way to see what kids retained and just how creative some could be.

    1. Thanks, Bev.
      It really can reveal a lot of information about a person, a character or a content unit! 🙂

  12. Man, your vocabulary in this piece is fun! There is a lesson in and of itself. I am going to have to try this format. I like this. Thanks for sharing!

    1. YAY, Erin!
      I can’t wait to see what you do with this! You are so welcome!

  13. I am in love…once again. Z is my favorite. What would life be without a little zany in the mix?

    1. Jessie,
      Well, there can be too much of a good thing. There are days when I’m at the wrong end of ZANY! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! 🙂

  14. This kind of pattern is fun. I have used the A, B, C pattern to teach literature and once assigned students to create an alphabet book for The Scarlet Letter. It’s a good way to tackle a challenging text.

    1. Thanks, Glenda!
      It’s a lot of fun to push the alphabet pattern into a content area! Thanks for commenting!

  15. Love this, Fran! I was going to tell you which were my favorites, but I lost track! Several made me smile–especially “G”. And although you were stuck on “P”, it turned out great! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the process as well. I would love to try this someday, both for myself and with my students. There are lots of possibilities! I have a friend who sends out her annual Christmas letter as an ABC list–now you could as well!

    1. Thanks, Kathy!
      OMG . . . ABC Christmas letter would be so much fun! Thanks for that idea! ❤

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