I am excited to announce that during the month of March, our school will engage in our second annual, school-wide writing project, called This I believe. This writing project is rooted in the belief that by sharing our collective stories we can grow together, celebrate writing and storytelling, and continue a rich tradition.
The writing prompt for this year is “I’ve learned...” and students will begin the brainstorm and pre-write this week in their language arts, social studies, and science classes. Students eventually will write a personal narrative that tells the story of how they came to understand the importance of this learning. All students and staff members will then write their first draft during a special assembly schedule on March 15. The project culminates with a publication of our work. All essays are submitted and published anonymously.
Students do not receive a letter grade for this project, and the final essay is not for credit. This project is about community, sharing stories, and learning from each other. Last year, over 94% of our students submitted a final essay. Students were motivated because they understood the value of sharing and possible publication. The student phrases found on the walls of our school and the words that are posted in the Nest come from this project.
There are a number of ways for parents to get involved:
Parents are encouraged to follow the brainstorming process and submit a personal narrative. Simply follow the pre-writing activities listed on the left-hand margin.
Help your student brainstorm and think through important “I’ve learned” statements and the stories that brought your child to this learning.
Volunteer to help us read and screen submitted essays.
Timeline of events for Students: February 28 - March 4, Language arts teachers will pre-teach/re-teach critical vocabulary (Acceptance, Empathy, Hope, Interdependence, Integrity, and Pride). *Elective teachers encouraged to introduce concepts into projects / curriculum.
February 28 – March 4, In social studies classes, students will read/discuss “I’ve learned…” example statements. Students will also interview an adult to bring back to class at least one “I’ve learned...” statement. Students will then brainstorm ideas for their essay.
March 8 - 11, Science teachers – students write “I’ve learned…” statements. Brainstorm story in class.
March 14, LA teachers help students write hook/lead. Teachers will also check in with students about brainstorm.
March 15, School-wide iWrite “I’ve learned…” PBS Schedule
March 17, Students and staff turn in essay to second period teachers. Follow-up with students
Thank you all for your support. We look forward to sharing our stories and engaging students in this important project.