Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What is Your Sentence?

Thank you to Stacey, Betsy, Dana, Tara, Beth, Anna, Kathleen & Deb for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.

Today we took our writing notebooks out to write a sentence. Just a sentence. 

What is your sentence? I stumbled upon this amazing video from Daniel Pink's book, Drive. 


I asked my sixth graders this question. We decided that we'd like to see some examples, so I shared a couple of other videos with mentors of this sentence. 

We analyzed their sentences. We noticed that the sentences were written in the third person. We noticed that the sentences were written as if these things had already happened. We got lost in their words. 

It's time to write our own. We spent five minutes writing and rewriting our sentence. We added details. We rearranged words. We tried out new ideas. We shared. After a few students shared out loud, we split up into groups and revised our sentences. We wrote our final sentence on an index card. 

Once again, I'm impressed. My students wrote and revised and shared. They thought deeply about who they are and who they want to be. We talked about our process of writing. "How did it go? How did you write your sentence?" Those conversations make the act of writing less scary (I hope). We noticed that everyone has a different process. I shared my process with them as I worked on my sentences for three blocks today and I'm not done. Here's a peek into my process…


They took risks and shared their hopes, their dreams, they shared themselves in their sentences. Here are a few of the sentences from my brave and talented sixth graders. Enjoy!

















What is your sentence?!?!

14 comments:

  1. It's before six a.m. so I'm not sure I have an answer to your question -- yet.

    I love the way you celebrated your students finding their sentence. What an interesting activity!

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  2. It's amazing how hard writing a sentence can be, when you are trying to find the perfect summary of a life well-lived! Like Stacey, I can't even begin to wrap my head around it at 515am...but it certainly has given me something to ponder for the rest of the day. Thanks for sharing your students' insights!

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  3. I loved reading all those sentences. It makes me so happy this morning to remember what intelligent and thoughtful young people their are in the world. Keep encouraging them with your love and expertise.

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  4. Your kids are heroes in the making. I love their sentences and how incredibly deep and thoughtful each one is. Have fun with this class!

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  5. This is unbelievably powerful. I can't wait to try it out with my students. Thank you for taking the time to share the whole process.

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  6. This is amazing work. So much can be done with one sentence. Just beautiful Michelle. I'd be a sixth grader again if I could be in your class.

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  7. What beautiful sentences from your students, Michelle. They should feel so good about them. The thoughtfulness abounds! Love seeing your own mentoring, too.

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  8. I'm so delighted my friend Julieanne shared your blog with me today Michelle. This is absolutely an amazing post and your students have written such incredible ONE SENTENCE reflections. Please thank each of your incredible sixth graders for inspiring me this morning!

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  9. Oh, I love this! I really enjoyed your students' sentences - and now I want to push my kids to expand their OLWs into OLSs!

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  10. Your post was the inspiration that I needed today! Thank you (and your students) for encouraging me as a writer!

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  11. Oh my goodness, Michelle. Your students' sentences are amazing. "He stood out" is my favorite! Gave me goosebumps.

    My sentence.... hmmmm.... off the top of my head:

    She found a way to do it all.

    Ha - see where my struggle is lately?

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  12. These are incredible. My first favorite is "...throw away the lemons and make a chocolate shake." This sounds like he/she has an attitude that will take him/her places. My second favorite is the hard work one. I had to read that one twice but wow! What a great thought. Love this idea and may have to borrow it.

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  13. Michelle, our minds must be linked. Without me seeing that you used Daniel Pink's One Sentence Project, I found it and shared it with the a large group of administrators and instructional leaders on Long Island yesterday. Dana told me that you wrote a post about it also. May I share your students's work with the teachers at our next venue? My What's Your Sentence post is at Two Writing Teachers today.

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  14. Hi! I came across your blog from another post on Twitter and I really enjoyed reading your writing ideas especially in how they are published, your inspiration and your students writing notebooks.

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