Those of us living in Illinois are beginning to wrap up our school year. As a matter of fact, at the time of this post, my school district has only 7 1/2 school days left. We are simultaneously reflecting on this school year while planning for the next. I am also thinking about our long summer break. I was inspired by Anna’s post about Summer Writing Projects, and I began thinking, “How will I nourish myself as a writer this summer?”
Last December, I wrote a similar post about making plans for writing over winter break. I revisited that post to revise some of my thinking due to the fact that our summer break is much longer than our winter break. Here a few tips I plan to share.
In order to meet my goal of writing daily, I will turn to one of my favorite motivation techniques: Don’t Break the Chain. The technique is simple. Get yourself a calendar, and after you write the first day, put an “x” on your calendar for that day. Do the same the second day. And the third. You have a streak going now! Your goal is to not break your chain. If you skip a day of writing, your chain is broken and your calendar is done. You’ll have to start a new one. Any simple calendar will do, but you can also click here for some printable “Don’t Break the Chain” calendars. If you prefer digital methods, download an iPhone app here.
I also want to be prepared to “write on the edge.” This idea comes from Donalyn’s Miller wonderful book, Reading in the Wild. Donalyn writes about avid readers who look for small pockets of time to read in their lives, such as while waiting at the orthodontist’s office, before falling asleep at night, or during TV commercials. I love this idea, and I think, “Why not write, too?” I will be prepared to write on the edge using my Evernote app and my WordPress app. I might be able to sneak in a few sentences or paragraphs in a waiting room or in the car (in the passenger seat, of course!) Students should carry their writer’s notebook with them whenever possible so they can also write on the edge.
- Slice of Life Stories
- TWT blog posts
- coaching blog posts
- picture book idea/manuscript
- professional book writing
- mentor texts for writing units
Part of having a game plan is also having a schedule. My tentative writing schedule looks like this for the first week of summer break:
4. Write with your family.
As always, I will also recommend that students carve out some time each week to write with their families. For me, this means making books with my daughters at least once a week. So far, we have made an “All About Clifford” book and an “All About Katie” book. We also wrote a story about their cousin, Emily. Writing together is fun. Students and their families can write a graphic novel together or a book of summer memories or a poem about their vacation!
I hope these easy tips will inspire kids to keep writing this summer! I know that I am feeling eager and prepared for my summer writing.
Literacy Coach, Reader, Writer