The 100 Days of Summer Writing!!!

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It’s here! It’s here!

#100DSW18 Slide Deck

Welcome to the inaugural 100 Days of Summer Writing!

This is a movement for students and teachers alike to use the summer break to build writing muscles and bits of genius through the regular inspiration provided by Notebook Time.

THANK YOU to everyone who contributed! And THANK YOU to everyone who is planning to join us – -as a teacher-writer and by sharing this opportunity with your students.

In addition to the slides above, this post will also provide instructions for how you and your students can get involved! Some preliminaries:

  • The slides are identical for teachers and students.
  • If you wish to edit the slide deck to better fit your students and your context, we suggest you download the PDF above, screenshot the slides you wish to include in your customized slide deck, and paste those screenshots into your own slideshow.
  • You might want to review the Getting Ready for Summer Writing lesson! This can help students and teachers understand ways they might respond to the notebook time invitations each day. There’s even a handy chart you can print for students or glue in your own notebook.
  • Students and teachers should feel free to participate every day or some of the days or sporadically, in order from #1-#100 or out of order! In other words, use this as it serves YOU. 
  • The 100 days will officially begin May 29 and end September 5.

For Teachers

  1. If you are going to participate in any capacity, would you please register using this Google form?
  2. Writing is always more fulfilling in community. Please consider sharing what you write! This is part of how we get stronger together. There are a couple of ways you can do this:
  • Take a picture of your writing and post it to Twitter. Tell us which slide you’re responding to, and use the hashtag #100DOSW18.
  • Join our 100 Days of Summer Writing Facebook Group! This will be a place we can talk about writing over the summer, check in on one another, and share writing. Each day, one of the 100 Days slides will be posted to the group. You can add your own writing right below it OR write on paper, snap a photo, and add it to the comments! It will look like this:

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  • Form your own teacher-writer group and share with them! Agree on a number of times to share — via email, in a shared Google Slideshow, in a Facebook group, chat about it on Voxer. Just find friends who are also participating and make intentional time and space to share your summer writing journey.

For Students

  • Older students participating should also be encouraged to take a picture of their writing and post it to Twitter using the hashtag #100DOSW18.
  • For younger students, set up a local, shared Google slideshow. Ask students to create slides to share their responses — one response per slide. Students can add comments in the slide notes to engage in conversation with one another about their writing! (This is what I’m doing with my middle schoolers!)
  • You might have other options within your school context — discussion boards through Edmodo or Blackboard, for instance! If you have another way that you are going to build writing community over the summer, please leave a comment below to share your idea!

Between now and June 1, Moving Writers will be sharing oodles of ideas for how you might engage colleagues and students in summer writing! (Stefanie kicked us off yesterday!) We will archive everything #100DOSW18-related in one page on our menu bar!

Alright! Did we forget something? What do you need to know? Leave us a comment here or reach out on Twitter @RebekahODell1. We are so excited about the ways we will all grow as writers together this summer! 


Rolling Snowballs in Summertime: Using #100DOSW18 to Encourage Deeper Writing Next School Year

Remember how Olaf, the snowman from Frozen, sings about how excited he is to experience summer after Arendelle’s deep freeze? Consider me his opposite. As summer (and summer writing!) approaches, I, ever the Wisconsin girl at heart, am thinking about snow.


I’m thinking specifically about a snowman-size snowball, the kind you make by rolling a small ball across a snowy yard like a hay bale until, layer by layer, it grows to ten times its size. Or the kind that rolls down a mountain to become something comically gargantuan and even village-engulfing.


Now, lest you think that I’m wishing Wisconsin’s 30-inch April snowstorm upon my new (and usually milder) climate in Virginia, let me clarify. I’m thinking about snowballs because, as I review the last pieces of writing from my seniors, I’m not seeing as much snowball writing as I’d like.

What’s snowball writing, you ask? It’s what I’ve decided to call the paragraph or the essay that builds momentum. The writing that–through the growing strength of its layered evidence, interpretation, and analysis–becomes a force of nature, an argument that bowls over the reader. 

As I look at my students’ writing, I realize that, in my eagerness to prepare these new students at a new school for two big essay exams, I rushed us into writing whole papers (snowpeople) when we probably should have spent some time building the pieces of those papers–the individual snowballs, if you will. Quotes and other pieces of evidence were just dropped in front of readers like the remnants of poor Olaf on a warm day. So my challenge for the summer is to develop more opportunities for deep, layered, ruminating analysis, and a great place to begin is the Moving Writers 100 Days of Summer Writing challenge. (Is my excitement for #100DOSW18 be inspiring all of the strange metaphors in today’s post? Probably!)

What I’m thinking about works as a continuation of Rebekah’s introductory lesson. Yesterday, Rebekah shared a fantastic set of questions to help students connect with a notebook prompt; today, in the spirit of the Mindfulness Monday activities my homeroom and I recently enjoyed, I offer some suggestions for “meditating” on some of the #100DOSW18 slides. Continue reading

100 Days of Summer Writing: Introducing Notebook Time

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You guys: it’s all happening!

On Wednesday, we will release our first 100 Days of Summer Writing — a slide deck of 100 slides to inspire writing over the summer, instructions for how to participate yourself, and instructions for how to get your students involved. Over the next two weeks, the writers here at Moving Writers will be sharing posts designed to give you ideas for using this in your summer assignments, challenging your students to commit words to paper (or screen) on their break, and to pump you up to join a growing community of teacher writers.

If you already use Notebook Time with your students, they will be ready to jump in with the 100 Days. But, if you don’t already use Notebook Time with your students, it’s not too late! If you can give up just ONE class period before summer break, you can introduce your kids to Notebook Time and get them ready to write this summer!

Today, what I’m sharing here today is a lesson plan that I will be using in week or so with the sixth graders in my building who have not yet practiced notebook time but who will be invited to join in the summer writing bonanza!

Continue reading

The Most Essential School Supply (Plus 3 Instructional Practices to Make the Most of It!)

It’s that time of year. Yeah, we may sometimes feel like we’re in survival mode with eager tallies marking how many Mondays are left in the school year, but as much as we might be counting down, we’re also starting to plan ahead for next year.

We’re waxing reflective and submitting school supply lists to the office. And as soon as we wave goodbye to the last bus pulling out of the parking lot, it seems like Target trots out their Back to School displays.

As you put together your supply requests and fill up your cart with discounted supplies, I’d like to make an argument for the most essential school supply on your list: a notebook.

Sure, I love my colored pens, sticky notes, and chart paper. I’ve tinkered with different binder organization systems. But if I was forced to choose just one school supply to help me ensure that all of my students will be successful, it would be a notebook – hands down.

notebooks.jpgNow, when I say “notebook,” I’m talking about a good, old-fashioned composition notebook. I like the size and especially the way it’s just a tiny bit harder to tear pages out, but I suppose in a pinch, just about any notebook would do. (And if you’ve got experience with keeping notebooks digitally, I’d really love to hear about it!)

A notebook is essential because if we really want our kids to engage in meaningful writing, we have to give them space to explore that process. And all the looseleaf, graphic organizers, and handouts in the world just can’t do that.

You know what I’m talking about with the handouts: color-coded packets stapled together and made up of boxes, bullet points, and fill-in-the-blank thesis statements. Fill in all of the boxes for the green page, and you’ll be ready to turn it into an introduction. Complete every bullet point in the yellow sheets, and your body paragraphs will practically write themselves.  I’ve done it plenty of times. The intentions are good. We want our students to have clear directions. If they simply follow these step-by-step directions, then we know they’ll get a good grade.

Sure, the intentions may be wonderful, but is it real writing? The process may be streamlined, but is the purpose really clear? Do students understand why they’re writing or for whom? And is putting together a bunch of slips of paper really what the writing process looks like?

Yes, the directions may be clear, but they beg so many more questions: Why would they want to write? Where’s the creativity? The growth mindset? What happens if a thought doesn’t fit neatly in a blank? Do you scrap the whole packet? When do we let students do their own thinking?

If we move away from the packets and step-by-step directions, notebooks can help us answer these nagging questions. Continue reading

100 Days of Summer WRITING!

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Summer reading is part of the school norm — we want ensure students’ engagement over the summer, we want to prevent “summer slide” in literacy. And yet, we tend to ignore writing slide.

The Moving Writers staff have been asking: What happens to our writers over the summer?

So we are gearing up to share a plan for 100 Days of Summer Writing (#100DOSW18) — a writing invitation for students and teachers alike!

Here’s the big picture: a shareable slide deck of 100 Notebook Time-esque, mentor-text-centered opportunities for little bits of regular summer writing for both students and teachers. At the end of the summer,  you and your students will come back to school with toned writing muscles, ideas for writing throughout the new school year, and oodles of models and pieces of writing to share!

And if you choose to complete your 100 Days of Summer Writing on your own blog, you will have opportunities to share here! (Details to come!)

Here at Moving Writers, we will spend the last weeks of May and the first weeks of June providing you with lessons and tips to introduce this opportunity to students and your colleagues in your department! We’ll give you ideas for how to use the 100 Days slide deck and instructions for how to commit to joining our #100DOSW18 community!

Here’s how you can get involved NOW by contributing to the 100 Days of Summer Writing Slide Deck!

If you have used a Notebook Time invitation this year that you have loved (or if you haven’t, but you have some ideas), we are inviting you to contribute to the slide deck! (Here’s an old post on Notebook Time basics. You can find many more Notebook Time posts here.) In general, Notebook Time invitations are:

  • Images
  • Sentences with imitable craft
  • Poems with clear frames and structures
  • Data, charts, graphs, statistics

All you have to do is create a slide featuring your notebook time invitation and email it to by May 13.

Your slide should:

  • Have a plain white background
  • Include your notebook time inspiration
  • Include your source, hyperlinked to the URL from when your inspiration came
  • Include your name and Twitter handle (if applicable)

That’s it!

Here’s a model of what your slide should look like! (Note: It’s SIMPLE!) 

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We are so excited to bring writing into the summer with your help! Email us your slides, and stay tuned for exciting details about our first ever 100 Days of Summer Writing!