Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Shared with Slice of Life 2013 at Two Writing Teachers 

This year for the first time my students each work with their own individual laptop. One of the things we are doing is blogging. Each of my sixth graders has their own blog. It's scary and exciting and new! I love it. At least once a week in class, we have blogging time. 

I pick a word from my word jar (filled with rocks I picked at the beach this summer). The words in the word jar come from me and from my students. Once I pick a word, we all blog for about twenty minutes. Ah, to hear the clicking of the keys. I love watching them compose on the computer and I'm overwhelmed with the writing I'm reading. I mean look at this blog entry inspired by the word, Waiting

I write with them. It reminds me how challenging it is to come up with something I'm proud of...on demand. I model how to start and what to do when you get stuck...I'm not faking either. Hahaha! Monday we blogged. I teach three classes, so I blogged three times today. I struggled with two out of th three. My words were: ASK, DIFFERENT, and SLEEP. Students can write anything, as long as the word appears. My students have written fictional short stories, memoir-ish pieces, book reviews, poems....you name it. I'm loving the creativity. 

Here's my blog post inspired by the word Different. It would be great to have visitors and comments on our class blog, Crayons & Pencils! Even better, we'd love to have commenters and readers on our student blogs. They are listed in the blog roll. We'd love to see you. Thanks for reading!

They say, "Be yourself,
don’t be like everyone else"
They say, "Be an original"   
They say, "There’s only one you!"
Being different is hard.
I want to fit in.
I want to be like everyone else.
I want to get the inside jokes
be on the inside and not on the outside…
where it feels lonely...sad…
That’s being different…
Or is it?
If everyone was the same,
would things be easier?
Would there be cool kids & nerds?
Would there be bullies?
no one
would be 
When you’re 
people judge you
people laugh at you
people make fun of you
they don’t
they appreciate you
they admire you
they celebrate you
they envy you
I believe…
that everyone is 
everyone wants to be 
I believe…
it’s the brave ones
who show the world that they’re


  1. I love that you practice what you preach and write alongside, sharing the experience, with your students. Not only are they writing on demand, you have created an audience and a purpose. Pretty much writing perfection in my book!

    1. Writing Perfection?!?! WOW! Thank you! :) It's certainly working for me and my students. I appreciate the kind words!

  2. How exciting! You are just beginning with blogs. Enjoy the variety of experiences ahead, Michelle.

  3. My kids are really starting to get into blogging. I just wish they were better at keyboarding so they could get more written. But I guess it is a small step. I love the idea of a word jar. This would be a great idea for them to be involved in our Fifteen minute Friday!

    1. Leigh Anne, YOU are the one where I got the idea to blog weekly in class...from your fifteen minute Friday! Thank you! I couldn't remember. The word jar is fun! I asked the kids to add their own suggestions. Soon, I may move to quotes for a change. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. How wonderful for your kids to be blogging and creating for an audience. And I love that word-stone idea...something to steal! Have a great Thanksgiving, Michelle!

  5. That's pretty darn good for writing on demand if you ask me! Wow! We do this with our 4th graders on Friday - except it's Five Minute Friday. I like that you blog for 20 minutes. Thanks for sharing your writing with us!

  6. I love blogging with my students! I'm not doing individual blogs with my students this year, but I have a class blog for each class period that students write on. I know what you mean about being overwhelmed by their writing! I'm heading over to check out your class blogs. You can find links to my 7th grade blogs over at http://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org under the links for Class Blogs. I love the idea of drawing a word to write about. We may try it!

  7. I did comment on your class blog, & think it's great that you're doing all this alongside your students. I enjoyed the 'waiting' post you shared. Sound like your students are really on their way to being writers, Michelle! Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. It does take bravery to share our differences with the world! Love your poem, Michelle, and your word jar. Such a great idea. Happy Thanksgiving!


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