Shout Outs: Slice of Life #sol21 6/31

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Our weekly staff meeting begins with shout-outs. It’s the one part of the meeting that will never be skipped, never be rushed. It’s raucous and loud–sometimes with actual shouting. Everyone unmutes. The chat fills with emojis and capital letters and exclamation marks.

Being invited to notice, name, and appreciate what my colleagues are doing has made me pay closer attention and acknowledge more freely and frequently to myself and to others what has been helpful. As a words of affirmation person, I’m all in when it comes to shout-outs.

Comments would seem to be the slicer’s version of a shout-out, and they are an essential way we build community and lift each other up as writers this month. Commenting–the leaving and the getting–is actually my favorite part of slicing.

But comments aren’t exactly shout-outs. That public affirmation to others, that acknowledgement in front of peers, is missing from a comment. It’s the difference between sending my colleague an email of appreciation and reading that email out loud to their boss and the whole staff.

So today I decided to shout out four blogs that I’m really enjoying this month. Of course there are dozens and dozens of blogs I’m enjoying. But here are four you might not be following yet that would richly reward your reading and commenting time.

I am just a little bit obsessed with the writing at tendingbulbs. I admire the variety in tone from one entry to the next, the precision of language, the way she captures moments in a way that feels utterly new and inventive and yet deeply familiar, like this is a thought or a feeling I’ve had but didn’t even know I had until I read her slice. You need to read every post, but maybe start with this beautiful piece about words we need and follow up with Tony’s hilarious one-day visit to France to eat baguettes and croissants.

The quality of observation, detail, and word choice are what strike me in Soundofwater‘s writing. Read this opener from her first slice this month:

I come from a long line of women who hold their cards close and their chins high. One of my most enduring memories of my maternal grandmother is sitting on the couch in the living room with Gran. She was a birdwoman, a thing of delicate bones and quick movements, and the most extraordinary plumage. 

“A thing of delicate bones and quick movements, and the most extraordinary plumage”?? I’m in writer’s heaven here. Her post about her daughter baking is also full of gorgeous observation and phrasing.

Nerds Beget Nerds is all about the warm voice and the carefully crafted pacing. I am so fully drawn in as a reader. This blog has me laughing and feeling like a member of the lunch crew, wondering what I’d bring for those impromptu teacher buffets, or a member of the family, wanting to toss my five movie choices into the hat for family movie night.

I read djvichos for the poetry of every line (poetry or prose, it’s all poetry here) and for her ability to nail an incredible final line–every one of them the gut punch that leaves me reeling or the unexpected resolution that has me sighing happily. Start with her imitation of Allen Ginsberg, which brought me such joy this morning, and then pause with her musings on what it means to see the world through a poet’s eyes.

What slicers are you shouting out today?






32 responses to “Shout Outs: Slice of Life #sol21 6/31”

  1. jessvaughan818 Avatar

    I love how you have such personalized shout outs. You shared such great detail about how these slicers impacted you as a reader. I am inspired to read more blogs and will certainly check these out. Thank you!!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      You’re welcome! With my new job, I haven’t commented nearly as much this year as I usually do and have barely visited some of my favorite slicers. Looking forward to catching up this weekend!

  2. Trina Avatar

    As I was reading your post, I realized that we don’t do shout-outs as a staff anymore. We regularly did this before the pandemic. I love that you introduced me to blogs that I am not familiar with! I am certain that your blog would be a shout out to many!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I’ve never been part of a shout-out school before. I found it a bit strange at first, but now I really value this practice and I do look for things to shout out during the week. Makes me notice and appreciate my colleagues and admin team so much more! Enjoy some happy reading today! I definitely think you will connect with a couple of these writers.

  3. humbleswede Avatar

    Thanks for doing this. I’m visiting all of these this morning. I’ve already been to one and started reading back in time.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      With nearly 300 people participating in the challenge this year and so many blogs I love, it was painful to limit myself to just four! It’s always fun to discover a new voice and then read back in time!

  4. jumpofffindwings Avatar

    GREAT idea, Elisabeth ( and not a little bit of pressure for my writer-self to do better!) I would’ve added your posts to my “Shout Outs” list. Thanks.
    I also think affirmations need to be a daily part of our work with students.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      As I was writing this, I realized that I rarely do shout-outs with my students. Oops!! I’m going to try to work out that. And your blog is definitely on my shout-outs list too!

  5. Juliana Ellington Avatar
    Juliana Ellington

    I loved this post! I can’t wait to hear how you figure out how to do this with your students. It really is a great community builder. I wonder why more schools don’t do this since research has to show that it improves community and job satisfaction and individual and school happiness.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I’m surprised by how much I enjoy the shout-out moments in faculty meetings. I don’t know yet how I’ll incorporate this in the classroom, but I’ll figure it out.

  6. arjeha Avatar

    This is a great way to give teachers, writers, students recognition for what they do. Too often we tell them in a conference or in a note or email that they are doing a good job or that something they did or wrote touched us. Although this is still a good thing, how much better to acknowledge that person before a group of others.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I agree! It’s nice to be acknowledged in front of others!

  7. jarhartz Avatar

    Thank you so much for the introduction to these bloggers. I am overwhelmed by the number of slicers and tend to go to the folks I know first. I’m going off to these writers next,
    And, the idea of well-thought-out shout-outs is SUCH a good idea for our students and colleagues. What way to make someone feel their value. Thank you!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      So many slicers to visit! I feel overwhelmed too and can’t believe how many blogs I still haven’t even managed to visit this month. I’m sure I’m going to remember someone vital on March 31 and then have to go back and leave 31 comments!!

  8. Teachingnest87 Avatar

    What a great post! I was honored to be one of your shout outs during my first year of slicing in 2018 and it still means a lot to me. I am trying to encourage several colleagues who are slicing for the first time this year. One is doing all her slices in graphic novel style (hardly an artist) and the other is a first year teacher who blows me away that she can slice and be a first year teacher during a pandemic (limitlyssthoughts). They are organized into a collaborative blog at TeachersWrite ( by our amazing instructional coach who blogs at Ona Thought ( I’m so excited to have this group to collaborate with during the challenge.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      That encouragement means so much! I can’t imagine being a first year teacher IN A PANDEMIC AND STILL SLICING. I’ll definitely check out her blog and offer some comments! How wonderful to have colleagues to collaborate with. I may try to get some of my colleagues on board next year!

  9. TammyB Avatar

    What a wonderful idea! I will have to “steal” this format myself! Now to click over to everyone’s posts you mentioned….

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      It’s fun to highlight a few deserving blogs of the many, many blogs that I’m reading and loving this month. I’d love to read a similar post from you because I do love to discover new-to-me blogs!

  10. Lisa Corbett Avatar

    That’s a nice way to “shout out” someone. There are so many blogs to choose from in March!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      So many! I can’t keep up! I’d like to spend the whole day just commenting.

  11. payanar100 Avatar

    I love this idea of shouting out other bloggers! Thank you for sharing this. I will definitely be checking out their posts.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I could do this every day for 31 days! So many blogs I enjoy reading.

  12. djvichos Avatar

    Wow, thank you for the shout out! I’m beaming, which just shows the power of shout outs. I love this idea! I’ve been a big fan of your blog, so if I may return a shout out!!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Oh, I’m so happy! The power of shout outs is REAL! And I’m honored to highlight your writing.

  13. Morgan Avatar

    What a great parallel to a practice that might have gone by the wayside for all the pandemic has taken. Well captured and preserved here.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thank you! I appreciate that even though we never have quite enough time for all the agenda items, we never rush the shout outs at my school.

  14. Leigh Anne Eck Avatar
    Leigh Anne Eck

    What a great idea for both the staff meeting and the blogs! I am off now to check some of them out!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Hope you found some new-to-you writers to enjoy!

  15. Completely Full Bookshelf Avatar
    Completely Full Bookshelf

    What a wonderful selection of blogs! I appreciate you shouting these out for us to enjoy!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thank you! Hope you found someone new to read!

  16. Alice Avatar

    Thank you a million times for including me in this shout out. What an unexpected and welcome surprise.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      You’re so welcome! I’m enjoying your writing so much!

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