Some teachers buy them for their students. Some teachers have parents purchase their own. Some teachers have school-issued marble composition books. Regardless of where students’ writer’s notebooks come from, there should be some fanfare for utilizing them for the first time during a given school year.
I wrapped up my students’ notebooks, during my last year as a classroom teacher, and handed the notebooks out as presents. The notebooks were all the same inside and out. However, once students had a chance to decorate the outside covers of their notebooks, they each took on each child’s personality.
If you need to purchase notebooks for your students, because your school doesn’t and your students’ families cannot afford to, then head to your nearest Staples, which is having amazing deals on one-subject notebooks and composition books. (I’m sure other office supply stores are having great deals, but personally, I’m partial to Staples because of their fabulous rewards program for teachers.)
Here’s a list of items you might want to have students bring in to decorate their writer’s notebooks:
- Photographs (Remind them to check with their parents FIRST!)
If you don’t think your students’ families will be able to furnish them with decorating supplies, then head to your nearest dollar store to find inexpensive decorating supplies. Also, if you aren’t comfortable asking students to bring in family photos, you might choose to use your digital camera, a day or two before you hand out and decorate notebooks, to snap photos of each child. Print them off on your home printer or locally, if you don’t have a color printer, and hand them out on decorating day so each student’s notebook is more personalized.
Looking for items to put on the inside front cover of your students’ notebooks? Click here or here for some ideas. Also, check back here on Tuesday evening, 8/24, for a post that will include several quotations about writing.
Finally, if you choose to wrap your students’ notebooks before you hand them out, then consider buying some wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows. If you want to get really fancy, then check out Chronicle Books’ Website for Paper Patisserie’s Gift Wrap Kit (review copy provided). They’re a bit pricey, but they contain everything you need to make an exquisite presentation to your students.
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.