Restarting the One-Sentence Story at Rectory

Mrs.+Billiard%2C+an+English+and+history+teacher+at+Rectory%2C+has+brought+back+the+one-sentence+story+to+benefit+the+Rectory+community.
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Restarting the One-Sentence Story at Rectory

Mrs. Billiard, an English and history teacher at Rectory, has brought back the one-sentence story to benefit the Rectory community.

Mrs. Billiard, an English and history teacher at Rectory, has brought back the one-sentence story to benefit the Rectory community.

Photo taken by Julia Z.

Mrs. Billiard, an English and history teacher at Rectory, has brought back the one-sentence story to benefit the Rectory community.

Photo taken by Julia Z.

Photo taken by Julia Z.

Mrs. Billiard, an English and history teacher at Rectory, has brought back the one-sentence story to benefit the Rectory community.

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The one sentence story is a school-wide competition that requires participants to write a story in a forty-word-or-less sentence using a grammatically-correct form of the monthly word. Each month, there is a different word for participants to use; the words given to the participants are all chosen by Mrs. Billiard’s E Period eighth-grade class.

After the participants submit their sentences, a panel of judges chooses one sentence that they like the best from each of the following categories: Grs. K-1; Grs. 2-3; Grs. 4-5; Grs. 6-7; Grs.8-9; and an adult group, which includes Rectory teachers and administrators. The winning sentences are read to the entire student body during morning assembly; winning students and teachers receive a bag of donut holes as their award.

The current judges are “celebrity” judges, including former Rectory tutors Claudia Abbott,  Lisette Rimer, and Nancy Green. They are on a panel with eighth-grade English students. To determine the monthly words, they first brainstorm possible words, and then they vote for the word they like the best. The judges use a writing rubric to help them decide on the winning sentences.

Screen shot taken by Julia Z.
The one-sentence story competition for October, 2018. The word-of-the-month was “trauma.”

As you can see, the one-sentence story is not produced by an outside organization. The Google form and the entire process is created by Mrs. Billiard, the eighth-grade students, and the panel of judges. To show you just how popular this activity is at Rectory, the contest for October had only been posted for 7 days, and Mrs. Billiard had already received 35 submissions. Sixty percent of these submissions were from 8th- and 9th-grade students, 32.4% were from 6th- and 7th-graders and 8.6%  were from Rectory adults.

The one-sentence story was originally started by Mr. Winkler, a former English teacher at Rectory. Now, Mrs. Billiard and her eighth-grade class have brought this activity back to campus. They wanted to bring the one-sentence story back because, first of all, some students remembered when Mr. Winkler had implemented it at Rectory a few years ago, and they asked if they could still participate in this contest. Secondly, Mrs. Billiard thinks that since the school has a “math problem of the week,” it would be nice to periodically have a writing competition for Rectory members, as well. Moreover, Mrs. Billiard, who cares deeply about building community, thinks this activity can really benefit the Rectory community. When The DiRectory asked her how we can benefit from this initiative, she said, “Sharing stories with one another helps people feel connected.”

Stay tuned for the October winners, who will be announced this coming week. We hope you will participate in the one-sentence story competition each month. You just might win some donut holes and gain pride in knowing that your sentence was chosen as a winner!

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