Last week, as part of the Day in a Sentence feature, I asked folks to take a quick survey that I had set up using the new Google Forms feature. There were 19 responses, which I think is pretty darn good turnout (thanks to everyone who did participate).
Side Note: This week’s Day in a Sentence is being hosted over the TeachEng.Us site. Please wander over there and submit your sentence. We would love to have veterans and newcomers alike share their insights into their weeks.
My first question asked how often the participants write and post a sentence for the ongoing feature. (By the way, I could not quite figure out how to get Google Forms to move data into a graph, so I went to an online graphing site and did it myself. I think that because the answers were not numbers, Google had trouble. Or I had trouble telling Google what to do. In either case, I couldn’t figure it out)
I was pleased that there are so many regulars, although I realize that many people put on their writing hat when they have time and space for the reflection. You can see that we had a few who were very new to Day in a Sentence and we heartily welcome them in.
Next, I asked which format people have enjoyed. We have been adding new twists now and then, just to keep it interesting. (I realized later that I forgot to add Six Word Sentence to my survey options — sorry)
You can see that so many of the writers are open and ready to try any format that we throw their way. I love that we are so flexible and willing to try new things. But there is still a desire for the traditional sentence and I support that, so we will continue to toggle back and forth between genres.
The next question asked why people bother to participate in the Day in a Sentence. I could not graph the answers, but here are a few that stuck out with me:
- I like the concept of creating a community of writers and teachers.
- I love the challenge and the community!
- It’s a way to reflect on my week and make connections with other teachers at the same time.
- It is interesting and fun to try and capture a moment or think in such reductive terms.
- I think it’s important to contribute. If you don’t, you have no right to complain about there being nothing good to read out there.
- It’s a challenge to compress my hectic days and weeks into just one sentence. The analyzing of my life and then putting it in writing often helps put things in the proper perspective. Also, it makes me find the time to write and share because I have an authentic audience. All too often I ignore the urge to write and then my ideas just float away into outer space. Participating in Day in a Sentence helps me capture my ideas and feelings.
- I liked the option for creativity and the chance to let my voice be heard.
- I like the challenge and I love reading what others come up with.
- Nothing better to do. Collaboration can’t be beat. Kevin is cool. I like to write.
- To take up the writing challenge and share it with an growing community.
- I participate because I like being part of a community. That is, I enjoy reading what others have to say and believe I have an obligation (a happy obligation) to contribute.
- I like the connectedness and reading other people’s comments. I am no good at haiku but I like all the other formats that could be and have been offered.
- I like reflecting on my week and I love reading everyone else’s reflection. I also enjoy being able to find out more about each person that contributes.
And finally, I asked for any suggestions for future writing formats. The participants wrote:
- Using a Mash-up Map to locate our sentences geographically
- Why not some more esoteric English terms, like synecdote, etc.
- Your week in iambic pentameter?
- I think it might be interesting to have us write in a sentence about a challenge we had during the week. I am sure we have many from which to choose. The other prompt might be a funny mistake or pit fall of the week. Here again, I bet we have more than a few to share.
Thanks again to all of the people who took a few minutes from their busy day to answer my questions.
Peace (in our days),