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Literacy Gifts

Jen, Sarah, and Ruth gave me some fantastic ideas about ways to make the launch of writer’s notebooks and using the classroom library more exciting for children in September. I thought their ideas were brilliant and will be doing both this-coming school year.

  • Classroom Library
    • Semi-organize the books in the classroom library before the start of the school year.
    • WRAP UP the entire classroom library, and boxes that contain the classroom library books, for the kids as beautifully as possible. Then, let them unwrap the library sometime during the first week of school.
    • Don’t categorize the books yourself. Instead, wait for the children to come and categorize them, create the labels for the book baskets, etc.
      • This will give the kids a feeling of ownership when it comes the classroom library.
  • Writer’s Notebooks
    • Instead of handing out the notebooks to the kids and having them decorate them, WRAP THEM UP as presents first.
      • Inside the notebook you can put the stuff you normally write inside each child’s notebook (e.g., his/her name, including a notebook poem, etc.)
    • Hand each child their present, which is obviously a writer’s notebook, right before they decorate them.

    Can you feel the excitement a child would feel when walking into a classroom and seeing PRESENTS during the first week of school?!!?!

    Thank you Ruth, Jen, and Sarah for these fantastic ideas!

Stacey Shubitz View All

I am a literacy consultant who focuses on writing workshop. I've been working with K-6 teachers and students since 2009. Prior to that, I was a fourth and fifth-grade teacher in New York City and Rhode Island.

I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).

I live in Central Pennsylvania with my husband and children. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, doing Pilates, cooking, baking, making ice cream, and reading novels.

5 thoughts on “Literacy Gifts Leave a comment

  1. I love the writer’s notebook idea too. Love it. I also love the idea of having the kids organize the library since I just inherited a whole BUNCH of books and doing it myself is daunting! 🙂


  2. I love the library idea! One of the hardest things for me is that I have two language arts classes. Dividing everything up evenly and fairly is the most difficult part of my job, sometimes! I will have to think of a way I can easily and fairly have both classes organize the library.

    Now, the writer’s nb idea I LOVE! I am definitely stealing that!


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