Welcome to my website. You will find information about your courses here by using the navigation bar. Your homework assignments are posted here. Eventually, you and your classmates will have all of your Writer's Workshop pieces posted here.

Books to try:

f a Tree Falls at Lunch Period, by Jennifer Choldenko, who is also the author of Al Capoone Does my Shirts, is about Kristen, who is struggling with her former best friend, and Walker, who has to change schools. They find out that they are actually more alike than they ever could have guessed!

Note from November 5:

Dear Parents,
Some of you asked about a site where all of the MS teachers' Wikis were linked. I found that it does exist through the School's website. Here is the link:

Expository Example:

How to play Ultimate
How to bake__.
Quick, cheap and easy Halloween costumes
How to enjoy time at the Lake
Best study strategies
Using the 6 Traits.
Preparing for Student Led conferences
Choosing a pet.
The smallest dogs.
The best cats for apartment life.
Choosing a beach resort in Thailand
Collecting cows
top Collections
Organizing your closets.
Learning an instrument

Brainstorm # 2
Tailors are cheap here
Things already in your home
Nieces have great ideas
Picnic table
Laundry basket
Cloudy with a chance of rain

Introduction: Ever since childhood, I have loved planning for Halloween and deciding what I'm going to be. As I have grown older, I have found that I have less and less time for this activity.

1. Cereal killer

2. Cloudy with a chance of rain.

3. Flight attendant.

Conclusion: Keep eyes open for quick easy ideas to save yourself time while still making sure you're an active participant in the Halloween season!

RD #1:

Even though the pressures of daily life have limited the amount of time I can spend getting ready for Halloween, I still enjoy the challenge of coming up with a costume for parties and trick-or-treating evenings. The key to my being able to participate in spooky events if my bag of tricks in the 'cheap, quick-and-easy costume department'. I have gathered a lot of ideas that don't require anything beyond what is already in my closet or pantry, but there are three top choices that anybody could use to make sure he is ready to celbrate with style! One of the easiest choices is to be a 'cereal killer'. Cut a cereal box in half, pin the front of the box to the front of your T-shirt, and the back of the box to the back, paint some blood on your face, grab a toy knife, and stab yourself when people ask what you are. They'll get the idea. 'Serial Killer', get it? Another easy option: dress in a pale blue outfit, pin white clouds, either from cotton balls, felt, or paper all over yourself, find a spray bottle, and you're 'Cloudy with a Chance of Rain.' This one is especially fun since you get to squirt people with water all night long. This last costume choice is a little classier, but not any harder. A friend of mine wore a dark blue fitted skirt, a white blouse, a scarf, found a little name tag, and pulled a small carry-on suitcase around behind her for most of the party. Instant flight attendant. If you find yourself on the Eve of Halloween without a costume, try any of these suggestions, and nobody will guess you were nearly not the life of the party!

Biscuit Recipe:

3/4 C. milk
2 C. flour
4 TB shortening or vegetable oil
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, salt, sift again. Cut in shortening. Stir in milk. Turn out on lightly floured board and knead for 30 seconds. Roll out 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured biscuit cutter or glass. Place on cookie sheet to bake. Bake at 475 degrees F. for 12-15 minutes.

Visiting Author 2009-2010:

Bruce Coville will be visiting AIS/D in October! Stay tuned for updates.
Please join us in the library on Wednesday, October 7th to meet our visiting author in person!

Visiting Author 2008-2009:

We are very fortunate that Susan Campbell Bartoletti visited all of our classes and discussed her author's craft during the 2008-09 school year.
I am posting ideas from her discussions throughout my website. She is sharing ideas about writing that can improve fiction and non-fiction. She is discussing her sources and how she quotes their words, among other topics.

Story starter ideas:
1. Begin with the setting.
2. In a short piece, the first paragraph should make it clear what the character wants more than anything.

Workshop Ideas

You can look in the Write Source 2000 for ideas and types of writing to try. Good pages include 45-51. You can also check out last year's Wiki pages.
The important part of workshop is that you use all steps of the writing process and don't just post your first attempt.

Workshop Samples:


The months of waiting, filled with anticipation.
Without any hope of understanding the time, responsibility and commitments ahead.
Through the years, dealing with a previously unimaginable range of emotions.

Among them, just to name a few:
pride, awe, anxiety, disappointment,
frustration, doubt, joy,
empathy, concern.

Above all, love.

Before experiencing these, there is no way to comprehend the enormity of what is ahead.


Here are two more samples that I wrote, based on the same 'Quickwrite' prompt:

It's just me, the boat, and the water
The waves rock us gently before I take off, the girls clutching the handles of the tube.
The motor roars as I open the throttle,
The girls shriek with delight as the tube flies outside of the wake.

They glide over the water--tip--
both girls fly up and off.

I cut the throttle, spin the boat around, and
carefully pull the tube to the where they wait, arms up,
bobbing in the water, ready for
another chance.

It's just me, my book, and and bunch of blurry characters on the page.
Gray and squiggly.
I'm annoyed and I'm getting a headache from trying to force the
blurs to form words.

I grab my glasses, settle them on the bridge of my nose,
and all of the words become clear.

I lean back, content that it's me, my book, and my glasses.