It takes more than a new writer’s notebook and preferred writing utensils to get kids writing! Teaching students a variety of strategies to generate writing in their notebooks is helpful if we want them to view their writer’s notebooks as both a workbench and a playground.
In my experience, many young writers struggle to use a writer’s notebook as a tool. They’re excited to have a notebook but unclear about what to “do” in there. Shared writing can be a powerful way to teach writers how to generate ideas for writing and to get themselves started, based on the books we are reading and discussing as a community.
“Writing about distressing events and how we feel about them is the only kind of writing that clinically has been associated with improved health,” Louise DeSalvo
Brevity, choice, and routine matter when you’re trying to encourage a reluctant writer to put words on the page when you’re engaging in remote schooling.
Reading Ralph Fletcher’s newest book, Focus Lessons, revealed memories of my childhood much the way photos can be revealed in a pan of solution. Slowly, vividly, and magically.
There have been many times I have had to hang on to patience, hold my breath, and wait. I have had students that do not hesitate to jump into writing … Continue Reading Wait Time
Writing workshop thrives when a community of children come together as writers who know each other. The first six weeks of school is when we build community. Here’s one way to build relationships and encourage kids to write about one of their favorite things simultaneously.
Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Eric Carle and Friends’ newest book, What’s Your Favorite Food?
One thing we can do to support all writers, is to be intentional in the topics and story ideas we use as models and mentors. Modeling a wide range of stories and ideas can help each of your writers be inspired.
The creative lives we maintain outside of writing fill us up as humans with stories to tell. When we bring this life into the writing workshop, it builds community, and it lays the foundation for lifelong writers who have strategies for sustaining their own writing lives.
Using a mentor text can be a little like taking a course from a published writer- we can allow him or her to teach us how to be stronger writers. This can certainly happen with our drafts… but we can also do this work in our notebooks. Oftentimes, doing so can free young writers up to do larger-scale revision. Here’s one way I tried that…
Every year brings with it new surprises. I was delightfully surprised by just ten minutes this year. Ten minutes made a big difference.
Linda Rief has collected a treasure of mentor texts and created a guide to encourage you to find your own treasures! Start here, get inspired, and then see what you find when you start looking. It can be as small or big as you want when you begin and Linda gives us all the right tools to get started.
We hope you enjoyed our November Blog Series all about writer’s notebooks. In case you missed it, here is the recap to get you up to speed!
Regardless of genre, we want to inspire students to develop their voices as writers, and then use those voices to entertain, inform, and change the world.
If you can’t sketch quickly or jot words quickly, or the lines in on the paper feel too small, or you find it difficult to organize your ideas on a blank page, then perhaps there might be other tools that are a better fit for you.
There is no one “correct” way to organize writer’s notebooks. So much depends upon the purpose the notebooks serve in your classroom and how students will utilize them during writing time. My goal with this post is to share different possibilities for organizing writer’s notebooks and present you with various options. To section or not to section will depend on how you see writer’s notebooks and the role they play in your workshop.
Understanding the purpose of something can unlock a path forward. This week, the authors of Two Writing Teachers are devoting digital ink to supporting teachers in thinking about the writer’s notebooks as an important writer’s tool. Today, let’s think about the various purposes of a notebook…
You spent the first couple months of the school year helping students understand their lives are significant, their stories are worth recording, and their notebooks are the place to make all of that happen. What’s next now that it’s November?
Encouraging engagement with notebooks means we may need to get out of the way. The notebook should always feel like it belongs to the writer.
As teachers, most of us view summer as a much-needed period for decompression and recharging. But as teachers of writing, there are likely several of us who see summertime as a valuable opportunity to prepare. One thing I plan to do is purchase a summer notebook…