Hello, writers and teachers,
First day of school! Are you excited about meeting new
teachers and classmates? About buying new clothes and school supplies? About
learning new things?
One of the things I love most about the start of a new
school year is the sense of newness and possibility that permeates everything
you do and everything that’s happening around you. A new school year gives you
the chance to start anew – to reinvent yourself. Perhaps you want to try a new
style of clothes or a different haircut; perhaps new glasses or new
accessories; perhaps a new technology. It’s all exciting and fun. However,
whatever you do, make sure you remain true to yourself – to your personality
and to your character. Be
confident and proud of who you are.
The beginning of a new school year is also the time to
identify your goals for the year. What do you want to accomplish? Do
you want to learn a new musical instrument? Play a new sport? Join a club? What
about your academic goals? Will you be taking an advanced class? Will you be needing
extra help with a particular subject? How many books do you plan to read? When and where are you going to do your homework? These are all questions
that need to be answered.
Your first task of the year will be to get physically and mentally ready for school. The following three steps will help
you, whether you attend a school or are home-schooled.
Step 1 - Get organized at home and at school. Tidy up your
drawers and closets, clean your room, and wash your clothes. Set up a quiet
study area with all the materials you’ll need to do your homework. Organize
your school locker. Personalize your study area, your locker, and your
supplies. Create an efficient and cool learning space that reflects your
Step 2 – Make a list of specific goals for the year. Include
social goals, personal goals, health goals, and academic goals. Post your list
where you can look at it everyday.
Step 3 – Create a realistic and flexible weekly schedule that will allow you to meet
your goals (consult with your parents or guardians on this).
Here are some of my goals:
1- Stay in touch with friends and family through phone calls,
emails, and Facebook.
2- Follow my weekly schedule.
3- Get enough sleep.
4- Go on walks and visit the gym at least once a week.
5- Follow a healthy eating plan.
6- Read two books per week.
7- Complete and post one writing exercise per week.
8- Work on my writing and art projects at least once a week.
9- Continue posting on my blogs.
Continue creating new documents for my website.
I assure you that getting organized is a powerful way to start the new school year.
Now, for those of you who will be following the fun supplemental writing
lessons that I will post each week on my blog, here’s my basic
instructional plan for the 2012-2013 school year:
Each Wednesday (starting this Wednesday, August 29) I will teach one or more writing skills and give you at least one short writing
prompt (including poetry prompts) that will allow you to practice and acquire
the skill(s) taught. I will also recommend online exercises to further supplement the
learning. These skills will prepare you to write longer pieces (one each month
or so) in a variety of writing modes.
The writing modes in the order in which they will be taught:
1- The Personal Narrative
2- The Expository Essay
3- The Short Story
4- The Persuasive Essay
5- The Literary Analysis
6- The Play
Parents and teachers: The lessons will support the College
and Career Readiness Anchor Standards For Writing and Language. (See
Students, there’s one more thing you need to do this week:
prepare a writing notebook. Follow
the instructions on the following document to create a totally cool
I will post the first writing lesson of the 2012-2013 school
year on Wednesday, August 27.
Talk to you soon,
P.S. Here's a website with fun ideas for school lunches and after school snacks: