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Slice of Life 2021: Day 2, Top of the To-Do List

This morning, I had a really important email to respond to. An email from a former student. I knew that this writing was a huge celebration for her. I was honored to be the recipient. 

Side Note: While I wrote about this time a year ago in yesterday’s slice, I didn’t mention that I had also moved grade levels, districts, and to a new state. 

This means that no formal, in-person goodbyes were shared with my class last year. They’ve been on my mind. Needless to say, when a former colleague sent me this student’s writing last night, I knew a reply would make its way to the top of my morning to-do list. And, if it keeps her writing, it will be at the top of any morning to-do list.

Dear _______,
This made my week. Thank you so much for writing to me. Breakout rooms, not getting dressed, the mute button, and having friends from all of the various schools are some pretty convincing reasons to prefer the DL. 

I am so glad that it seems like you are having a great year in 5th Grade. It seems like your class is working on opinion writing- mine too! Right now, I am preparing a chart that will help them incorporate stories into their research-based opinion essays. 

Some of the topics my students have written about are: banning plastic straws, banning zoos, serving chocolate milk at school, and having a school-wide Field Day. Surprisingly, they haven’t written asking for a class pet (yet) like some of our friends did last year. 🐭

My school has been hybrid all year. This means that I have half of the class in-person on Monday’s and Tuesday’s and the other half in-person on Thursday’s and Friday’s. On Wednesday’s, we are all on Zoom. I think I miss my classroom rug the most. I was even able to get one with cool designs and each student would sit on a “swirl sport.” One day!

_________ would be glad to hear that all of my markers have a stable supply of ink and are not running low. You would be glad to hear that my easel is not on wheels so it doesn’t tip over as easily as it did last year. 

There is a Distance Learning Academy here, too. Some of those classes have students from all of the fifteen (yes, fifteen!) elementary schools across the district. 

I thought of you recently as I just started a book club with a few students and we are reading Out of My Mind- one of your favorites! My class is also getting really excited as we have Jerry Craft, the author of the New Kid and Class Act, visiting virtually soon. What books have you enjoyed in 5th Grade so far?

Also, look at your conventions! Look at you! ⭐️ That must’ve been from your fourth grade teacher. 🙂 
If you want to write again, I am here. Hi to _______, ________, your parents, and our class. 

Keep on being YOU ❤️❤️❤️, 

Ms. Woodruff


5 thoughts on “Slice of Life 2021: Day 2, Top of the To-Do List

  1. She will treasure it … and yes let me know what you all need in terms of poetry bins. I am using your poem from yesterday in a text set with Outside Inside with teachers in a PD session next week. I love your structure – it is great to show how you can read like a writer and borrow structure. It is also such a beautiful piece that will touch and resonate with so many. Hope that is ok with you.


    1. Of course! And yes….would love to connect and think about next steps with the poetry bins. I will send you an email tomorrow, but feel free to respond in whatever way works best for you these days. I hope you are hanging in there.


  2. I absolutely LOVE this! The time and care that you have taken to nurture this connection? Well. Worth. Every. Moment. This is the type of thing we need to keep us going, not just for the ones who receive it, but for ourselves as well, to know that we can also put kindness and joy out into this world. Thanks for this reminder to keep that support coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a wonderful post. I know you have made Allie’s day, week, and probably year. She will cherish this letter, and I bet she’ll return to it often. It’s simply wonderful. ❤️❤️❤️


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