Friday, February 24, 2017

Start Your Engines

Hard to believe, but it was 2,917 days ago that I started posting this daily blog. The milestone was on my mind today as I introduced my latest group of sixth graders to the 100 Day Writing Challenge.

Over the years I have learned that, while daily diligence is mandatory for me, when the rules are completely unforgiving, a single misstep will almost certainly lead to quitting for my students. And so I have built in safety nets on either end of the challenge, such as the next five days before the official March 1 kick-off. Any kids who post practice pieces will be able to count them toward the ones they miss. There are also some extra days at the end for those writers who are oh-so-close.

As result, this Friday evening finds me reading through a collection of hundred-word self-portraits of my students' lives, and as ever, I am exceedingly moved by the small details they choose to share and the honesty with which they examine them. They are thoughtful, inventive, wise, and quirky.

Here are just a few of their observations:

Yesterday, I woke up to the stramatic yelling of my mother.

I want to be happy, but the thought of my electives haunts me.

Onstage I am the worst at jump roping, so I figured that if I practiced and practiced, I would get so good that I would be able to jump better than the king of jump roping.

Today in English while our teacher was talking I completely zoned out for like five minutes.

Her team has only won once, but they have been trying really hard. That is why I love my sister's basketball game.

I felt like a monster was crawling up my throat and trying to belt out the national anthem.

Now, if you really love birds or just any animal then stop reading now. 
(This particular writer waved me over as he was working. He had a very serious look on his face. "I'm writing about a dead bird I saw on the way to school," he told me, "but I'm afraid it is way too intense for some kids, so I'm going to add a warning.")

Peace out! Stay Alive and ask yourself what does the fox say? Serious. I really don't know? Tell me soon!

It's going to be an exceptional 100 days.

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