I like to begin the year with Paragraph of the Week. This is my first 9-weeks set. Usually, I assign Paragraph of the Week as homework on Monday and have students turn it in by Friday. It's a good way to get them to write in different modes about a variety of topics.
There are nine weekly writing assignments. Each of the nine assignment pages include the writing prompt and an area to plan, write a first draft, and write a final draft. Students have only one page to keep up with and get turned in. Yea for me too!
I've also included a scoring rubric for your convenience. At the beginning of the year, I make each student a copy of the scoring rubric. They glue the rubric into their interactive journals to use as a checklist. Over the years, I've gotten a lot of positive comments about having the rubric to look over before handing in their assignments on Friday.
Paragraph of the week is a great tool to help prepare students for the writing portions of the Common Core assessment at the end of the year.
Please check out my writing resources at my TPT store, Arrrsome in Fifth. Thank you!